Wednesday 22 August 2018

Rose capitalises on Johnson meltdown to prevail

 

Justin Rose poses with the trophy. Photo: AP
Justin Rose poses with the trophy. Photo: AP

William S Callahan

Justin Rose produced a brilliant finish to take advantage of a stunning collapse from world number one Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Rose began the final round eight shots behind Johnson and was still six adrift at the turn, but fired five birdies in a back nine of 31 to complete a closing 67, with Johnson slumping to a 77.

At 14-under-par, Rose finished two shots ahead of Ryder Cup partner Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Johnson, who had started the day with a six-shot lead in pursuit of a record third World Golf Championship victory this year.

Rose's second WGC title lifts him from 13th in the world to sixth, with Koepka and Stenson now seventh and eighth respectively, pushing the absent Rory McIlroy down to ninth.

"It's unbelievable," said Rose, whose chances looked to have disappeared when he bogeyed the eighth and ninth to reach the turn in level-par.

"It's been a long time since I've won, or at least it feels like that. I've won every year since 2010, if you include the Olympics last year. I've left it late this year but it feels amazing."

Rose's 10th European Tour title lifts him to third in the Race to Dubai with three events remaining, albeit still more than a million points behind leader Tommy Fleetwood, who finished in a tie for 20th after a closing 74.

Paul Dunne had a disappointing finish to the tournament, picking up six bogeys and one double-bogey on his way to a seven-over 79.

It was Dunne's worst round of week by some way and saw him drop to one-over for the tournament and fall back into a tie for 38th.

Elsewhere, American Ryan Armour cruised to a five-shot victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship with a four-under 68 in his final round last night.

A three-over par (75) final round saw Seamus Power drop to six-under for the tournament and finish in a tie for 18th place.

Irish Independent

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