Rose confirms top form with AT&T win
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2010 AT&T National | Round Four | 05 Jul 2010
Two months ago there was a serious question mark as to Justin Rose’s capacity to win on the PGA Tour. There had been numerous close calls in his now seven year career in the US but until the recent Memorial Tournament, there was growing pressure for him to capitalise on the chances he was creating.
With the win at Muirfield Village behind him, his last round stumble last week in Hartford was almost a case or reverting to type. Despite things getting very tight over the closing stages of the AT&T National Tournament in Philadelphia today however, he steeled himself over the closing seven holes, eking out pars to hold off Ryan Moore to win by one.
As he made the turn today Rose had established a five shot lead courtesy of a brilliant eagle at the 9th which came after his four wood finished 3 feet from the hole. At that point he appeared very much in charge but consecutive three putts at the 10th and 11th holes and a late surge from Moore put a different complexion on things.
Rose dug deep over the closing few holes on the demanding Aronomink layout however.
“Obviously this was an important day for me, he said after his win. “Obviously I was in here just talking about how I wanted to be getting better as a player and that is ultimately the truth, but I knew having not closed out last week it was important for me just for myself to do it today, but to do it in a way – I felt like I really did put into play the lessons I learned at Hartford. I played much slower and I really felt calm. I didn’t feel like the nerves got the better of me at all the whole weekend, so was much better at that.”
Rose missed out on a start at the recent US Open but he now looks ahead to the Open Championship, the event that launched his career when 4th as a 17 year old in 1998.
“Yeah, I’ve got very fond memories of St Andrews. I won the St. Andrews Links Trophy as an amateur there, which that was probably the performance that got me into the Walker Cup. It’s one of the biggest stroke-play events we have on the amateur circuit. So winning that, I think I was 16, got me into the Walker Cup. And I finished 2nd at the Dunhill Links Championship in ’07 then.”
“It’s a place I love. How can you not love St. Andrews? You’ve just got to stand on the 1st tee there and you feel like you’re part of something special. To do it in an Open is something very special. That’s been my goal for the last few weeks. Since winning the Memorial, obviously I’ve been looking good. But St. Andrews, I’ve dubbed it my “Bogey Open,” missing it in 2000 and 2005, so I’m glad I’ve changed the trend."
Moore finished second one shot ahead of the increasingly consistent Jeff Overton in third position.
Marc Leishman led the Australians when finishing in 7th position. It was a considerable improvement for the Victorian who has had a run of outs over the past few weeks.
Jason Day contended for much of the week before finishing in a share of 9th but will take his earnings for the season to just under US$1.6 million. Stuart Appleby continued his improved form of late when 11th, as could be said of Aaron Baddeley who was 16th, Steve Elkington 25th, Robert Allenby 41st and Nathan Green 46th.
The PGA Tour is now just eleven days away from their second major of the year but will play this week’s John Deere Classic in Illinois beforehand.