OCTOBER IS NOT JUNE, AND AN OUTING with friends is not the final round of the U.S. Open in front of thousands of spectators, but new champion Justin Rose returned to Merion Golf Club as the leaves were turning colors in the Philadelphia suburb.
“Rosie” had to try the shot again. There was a lot less pressure this time. There were a few laughs instead.
“It’s playing short today!” the reigning U.S. Open champion exclaims, and 11 of his closest friends respond with laughter.
Nearly four months earlier, Rose had hit an outstanding 4-iron approach shot on the 72nd hole of the championship that skirted the hole before barely trickling over the green, leading to an up-and-down that all but sealed his first major victory.
The Englishman returned to the site of his triumph in October, as part of this year’s edition of an annual golf getaway the group has dubbed the JR Challenge. The experience wouldn’t have been complete without a reprisal of Rose’s pressure-packed shot, along with a homemade plaque to mark the occasion.