The Men to Watch at Merion: No. 2, Justin Rose

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Shane Bacon
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This week marks the second major of 2013 and the first time the USGA has set foot on Merion Golf Club since 1981. The rough is thick, the course is wet and the yardage is under 7,000 yards. So who wins it this week? We give you five to watch at the U.S. Open (Check out past entries - No. 5, Phil Mickelson, No. 4, Dustin Johnson, No. 3 Matt Kuchar).

No. 2 -- Justin Rose

Major Championships -- 0

U.S. Open appearance -- 8

Best U.S. Open Finish -- T-5 (2003)

Best Finish on the PGA Tour in 2013 -- 2 (Arnold Palmer Invitational)

What he has to do to win -- An Englishman hasn't won the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin did it in 1970, but if I had to give a nod towards one with the best potential this week, it's Rose. A man who struggled in majors to start his career (after that epic showing in the 1998 Open Championship, of course), Rose has found himself a little at these events over the last two years. A T-8 at the Masters in 2012 and a T-3 at the PGA when Rory McIlory was running away with it were both positives for Rose, who comes in ranked No. 5 in the world and with plenty of upside to his 2013.

Sure, he hasn't won on tour this season, but he's had four top-10s in eight events including a T-8 at the Memorial a couple of weeks ago.

For Rose it's all about the putter.

This is a guy that simply drives the ball as good as anyone in golf, but it's the putting that he lives and dies by, and he will need that confidence this week at Merion if he hopes to win his first major championship.

Rose is 26th in driving distance this year, 17th in driving percentage and 7th in greens in regulation, so if that putter heats up while the rains are falling I see a very, very solid week for 32-year-old.

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