Justin Rose - A+
Before teeing off in the field round, Rose said that the key would be hitting 'quality shot after quality shot'. Well, didn't he just. The Englishman is one of golf's most genuinely 'genuine' guys and is liked by fans, fellow players and journalists alike. His mental fortitude over Merion's brutally tough final five holes was a masterclass in composure under pressure and his eloquence and grace in victory was enormously classy. He's been through a helluva lot since that
breakthrough appearance at the Open in 1998 but now he has the distinction of being a major champion. And deservedly so.
Phil Mickelson - A-
How many more times is 'Lefty' going to get punched in the gut by his national championship? Mickelson has now been runner-up in the US Open an incredible six times. It's the one tournament he wants to win above all others - and it's the one he just can't quite get over the finish line in. After a stunning chip-in from the rough on ten, it looked as though it might just be his day but a nervy - some might say clumsy - back nine gave him nothing more just another near-miss. And on his 43rd birthday, too. He said it best himself - 'heartbreaking'.
Merion's East Course - B+
It isn't pretty. In places, it's actually pretty scruffy. But Merion's East Course might just be one of the best venues on the US Open rota. Short by modern standards, it was utterly fascinating to see how much it got under the skin and, more to the point, between the ears of the world's best players. It was just a shame that the USGA beefed some parts of it up beyond the realms of fairness on the final day. Par-3s that you can't reach with a driver? Greens running at what must have been around 15 on the stimp? Utter madness.
Shawn Stefani - B
The American bagged the first-ever hole-in-one in a US Open at Merion when he aced the outrageously difficult par-3 17th on Sunday (via a fortuitous bounce off a grass embankment, it must be said). For that and his 'exuberant' reaction, we're prepared to turn a blind eye to the fact he finished 19-over-par.
Sergio Garcia - C
The Spaniard finished 15-over-par at Merion, which isn't as bad it sounds when you consider that he played the 14th and 15th holes in a combined 16-over. Hypothetical, I know, but had he played them in level-par, he'd be getting an 'A+' for his first major win.
Billy Horschel's 'octopus' trousers - D-
The worst slacks to appear on telly since MC Hammer was a regular on MTV.
Tiger Woods - F
A non-factor almost from the off, you sometimes have to pinch yourself to remember that Woods has won 14 majors. At times at Merion, he looked like he was playing in one of golf's marquee events for the first time. His swing was a shambles, his strategy sucked and, in the end, his poor play got the score it deserved. That's now 12 straight rounds in the weekends at majors that he has failed to break 70. Never mind whether or not he can beat Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles, I'm seriously beginning to wonder if Woods will even make it to 15.
Rory McIlroy - F
'Also-ran' is, sadly, becoming the theme of the young Northern Irishman's season. Hard to watch such a talented player so at odds with his game.
Mother Nature - F-
The fact she sent a bleedin' tornado towards the tournament on day one leads me to the conclusion that she is, in all likelihood, a golf widow.
Golfers who don't yell fore - Z
Believe me, I'm sick of going on about this but, so long as it's a problem, I'll continue to raise it. Luke Donald on the par-3 third in the final round pulled his tee shot to the left. Did he yell 'Fore!'? No. He stuck out his arm. But spectators can't hear an outstretched arm, can they? Hence some poor soul in the crowd felt the full brunt of the Englishman's golf ball smacking into them. Nothing against Donald, he's a perfectly nice chap and, of course, wouldn't have wanted to harm any paying punter intentionally. But why not yell a warning? Because it's humiliating? Well, better a red face than a badly injured fan. Please, guys, sort it out before someone is seriously injured.
Morons in the crowd - Z
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until something is done about it - find these clowns in the crowd who yell incomprehensibly stupid stuff after shots ('Mashed Potato', 'Cheese Steak' etc) and eject them from the course. If you can do so whilst leaving an imprint of your boot in their rear ends, so much the better.