Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Justin Rose came from behind on a wild Sunday at
Doral to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
He posted a two-under 70 to finish at 16-under 272. That was good for a one-
shot victory over third-round leader Bubba Watson, who made things interesting
on the famed 18th.
After Rose bogeyed the 18th in the group ahead to sign for a one-shot lead,
Watson drove into the right rough. He pulled off an amazing approach by a tree
that stopped nine feet from the hole.
Watson needed to hole the putt to force a playoff and had to endure a long
wait as Keegan Bradley butchered the 18th.
Watson's putt never touched the hole and Rose earned his fourth PGA Tour title
and fifth on the European Tour.
"These moments are incredibly sweet," Rose said in his televised trophy
presentation. "They're few and far between as a golfer."
Prior to Rose's victory, Tiger Woods withdrew with a left Achilles injury.
Woods, who last withdrew at the Players Championship a year ago, was three-
over through 11 holes and NBC showed that Woods switched shoes around the
turn. He walked off, told a media official it was a left leg injury and left
Later he released a statement that read: "I felt tightness in my left Achilles
warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse. After
hitting my tee shot at 12, I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the
past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time, I decided to do
what I thought was necessary."
Watson shot a two-over 74 to finish one back.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy made a ferocious run at the top, but came up short.
He carded a five-under 67 and came in third at 14-under 274.
Sunday's final round provided classic drama, aside from Woods' sudden
Watson, who led by three at the start of the final round, birdied the first
hole, but three straight bogeys from the third, highlighted by a few trips to
the water, dropped him out of the lead.
Bradley assumed the top spot, but Rose hung tough. He birdied one and four,
but a missed 10-footer for par at six left him one behind Bradley.
The reigning PGA Champion built a two-stroke cushion, but a bogey at eight cut
that margin in half. Rose two-putted the par-five 10th for a birdie and was
tied for the lead with Bradley.
The lead was all Rose's after Bradley made a sloppy bogey at the par-five
10th. Bradley wouldn't be heard from again, going four-over in his last four
holes, but the game's best made a big move.
McIlroy, who won last week's Honda Classic to become No. 1, birdied seven,
eight and 10, then holed out from a bunker for eagle at the 12th. He was
within one stroke of the lead, but a costly bogey at 14 temporarily derailed
The U.S. Open champion birdied the 16th from six feet out to once again claw
within a shot. Rose extended his advantage with a five-foot birdie putt at the
McIlroy made a mess of the 18th and carded a bogey. That left him three off
and with a sliver of hope.
"Yeah, 18 today was playing brutal, probably the toughest it's played all
week," said McIlroy. "It wasn't quite the way I wanted to finish, but it's
still been a good week."
Watson was still a factor.
After a very shaky front nine, Watson birdied 11 and 12 to match Rose in
first, but a poor bunker shot at 13 led to a bogey. After Rose's birdie at 14,
the third-round leader was two back, but Rose brought him closer at 18.
He drove into the right rough at the brutal finishing hole, then hammered his
second right of the green. His pitch ran through the green and he chipped his
par effort two feet short.
Rose tapped in for bogey, and waited to see what Watson did.
If Rose took a peek back down the fairway, he'd have seen Watson in a tough
spot in the right rough. Watson hit a spectacular four-iron second to nine
feet, but he couldn't make the putt.
"I've been in the rough a lot," Watson said in his televised interview. "We're
not playing for second, we're playing to win. I was trying to go right at the
pin, never thought about anything else."
Rose, warming up for a possible playoff, got word Watson missed and the win
"There's been a lot of hard work going on with my game," Rose said on TV.
"Days like this, where it all shows up, it makes it all worthwhile."
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (68) and Peter Hanson (71) shared fourth at
13-under par. John Senden (65) and world No. 2 Luke Donald (69) tied for sixth
Bradley finished with a three-over 75 and shared eighth with Bo Van Pelt,
Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar at 11-under par.
NOTES: Rose pocketed $1.4 million for the win...McIlroy moved to the top of
the FedExCup points list...The PGA Tour remains in Florida next week, moving
to the west coast side of the state for the Transitions Championship in Palm
Harbor, where Gary Woodland captured his first PGA Tour event last year...The
European Tour travels to Spain for the Open de Andalucia Costa del Sol, where
Paul Lawrie won the 2011 title.
03/11 19:33:36 ET
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