A player we were first introduced to as a 17-year-old surprise contender at the 1998 British Open went on to miss 21 consecutive cuts to start his pro career. Since then, though, Rose has evolved into an upper echelon tour player, a Ryder Cup stalwart for Europe, and now, a U.S. Open champion. In the July issue of Golf Digest, the 32-year-old Rose was identified through a statistical formula as the best iron player on tour. But that's not all that served him well at Merion, where he holed a number of clutch putts and hit the best drive of his life on the difficult par-4 18th hole on Sunday. With an even-par 70, Rose, who was born in South Africa but raised in England, becomes the first English winner of the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970.