ARDMORE, Pa. —
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, trying to give South Africa a major for the fourth straight year, opened with a birdie and a tie for the lead. That became a distant memory, however, when he dropped seven shots over the seven holes and closed out his front nine with a 42.
Horschel wore pants with octopus prints, and he putted like he had eight arms. Out in 39, he opened the back nine with a pair of three-putts.
For a short time, it looked as though Mickelson might join this parade of pretenders when he three-putted for double bogey twice in three holes on the front nine. And then came his shot out of the rough on the 10th, and he was on his way — but not for long.
Rose made his share of mistakes, too, like the three-putt bogey on the 11th and a horrible shot out of the bunker on the 14th. The difference was his approach into the 12th to 3 feet, followed by a 20-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole.
With Mickelson watching so many putts graze the lip, that cushion was all that Rose needed.
"This is definitely a tough defeat for Phil," Rose said. "I love the way he plays the game. He plays fearless golf. He keeps everybody guessing."
But not at a U.S. Open, where it never ends well for him.