Rose captures 1st PGA Tour win at Memorial|
Dublin, OH (Sports Network) - Feeling in control of his emotions and clearly
in control of his golf game, Justin Rose finally captured his first PGA Tour
win Sunday at the Memorial Tournament.
The Englishman closed with a flawless six-under 66 in the final round at
Muirfield Village to overcome a four-shot deficit and beat fellow
twentysomething Rickie Fowler by three.
Rose, 29, finished with an 18-under 270, the lowest score posted at Jack
Nicklaus' tournament in eight years.
After tapping in his final par putt, Rose took of his hat and was greeted by
the tournament host behind the 18th green. He shook hands with Nicklaus and
told him he had a "phenomenal" week.
"All week I was in control of my emotions," said Rose, who collected $1.08
million for the win, his first in 162 starts on the PGA Tour.
Rose is just seven weeks shy of 30, but his victory still marked another win
this season by golf's young stars.
Fowler was also trying to add his name to a list of 2010 winners that includes
fellow youngsters Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa of
Japan, but he was undone by a shot into the water at the par-three 12th.
The 21-year-old American took a double-bogey there to fall two shots back, and
he had trouble getting out of a bunker at the 16th on the way to a bogey. He
shot a one-over 73 and finished in second place by himself at 15-under 273,
his second runner-up of the season.
Bo Van Pelt (69) and Ricky Barnes (73) shared third place at 12-under 276,
while Phil Mickelson (69) led a three-way tie at 11-under 277.
Mickelson failed again to overtake Tiger Woods for the No. 1 world ranking,
which he could have accomplished with a victory and a little help from Woods.
"I think I came here looking for confidence, and I found some." said
Mickelson. "I also came here to see what areas of my game needed some work,
and I found those."
Meanwhile, Woods returned from a neck injury and played all four rounds for
the first time since the Masters. The four-time Memorial winner -- including
last year -- closed with a 72 and tied for 19th place at six-under 282.
More importantly, Sunday marked Woods' final tune-up for the U.S. Open in two
"I completed all four rounds this time. It is possible," Woods laughed during
a TV interview, referring to his missed cut at the Quail Hollow Championship
and his withdrawal from The Players Championship.
But the day belonged to Rose, the gangly 13-year pro who was born in South
Africa, raised in England and now spends much of his time in the United
But until Sunday, he had never won here.
"I've had a few close calls over time and you start to wonder why you can't
get it done," Rose said. "It's amazing that when you do get it done, it does
somewhat feel easy."
A former top money winner on the European Tour, where he has won four times,
Rose started the day four shots off Fowler's lead. He made a charge on the
front nine by collecting four birdies, including three in a row between the
seventh and ninth holes. Among them were a 25-yard chip to tap-in range at No.
7 and a 20-foot putt at No. 9.
Rose added two more birdies on the back nine, including a 13-foot putt at the
16th that gave him a three-shot lead.
Fowler -- who was decked from head to toe in bright orange -- was trying to
break Woods' record as the youngest winner in tournament history.
After a bogey at No. 2, he looked good, picking up two birdies on the front
nine to make the turn as the leader. But Fowler made bogey from a fairway
bunker at the 10th, and two holes later his tee shot at the 12th kicked right
into a pond for double-bogey.
"Obviously not the round that I wanted today. Didn't hit as many greens as I
would like to, but we had a lot of fun," said Fowler. "Justin put up a great
round today, so I got to give it up to him. And I look forward to hopefully
being in contention a little bit more often."
Rose burst onto the scene 12 years ago as a fresh-faced, 17-year-old amateur
making a run at the 1998 British Open. After holing out from the fairway for a
birdie on the 72nd hole to finish tied for fourth, he turned professional and
waited for the good times to come.
And waited, and waited.
He missed 21 consecutive cuts at the beginning of his professional career --
not exactly what people expected from the young Englishman -- and it took four
years for him to earn his first win (he got two in 2002).
Declared wasted talent by some, Rose kept his head on his shoulders. And now
he has reached another personal milestone.
"It was just a matter of beginning to get out of my own way, I suppose," Rose
said. "I'm sure you hear that all the time from guys coming in with wins.
That's really what happens."
NOTES: Mickelson hit a three-wood off the cart path at the par-five 15th,
reached the green in regulation, but then three-putted for a double-bogey. Has
he ever played a hole like that? "Unfortunately, quite a few," Mickelson
said...Barnes holed an 86-yard shot for eagle at the 15th, the second day in a
row he holed out for an eagle from the fairway.
06/06 19:29:04 ET