SU­PER­HERO GOLF?

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS -

The WGC HSBC Cham­pi­onship with its ts su­per­hero them has fin­ished for an­other year.

World Num­ber 1 Dustin John­son, Swedish su­per­star and last year's run­ner up Hen­rik Sten­son and lo­cal hero Hao­tong Li made sure that ‘Asia's Ma­jor' got off to fly­ing start as they were sus­pended in mid-air far above the iconic Shang­hai sky­line and the watch­ing gaze of de­fend­ing cham­pion and World Num­ber 4 Hideki Mat­suyama who was keep­ing his feet firmly on the ground.

That spec­tac­u­lar start to the WGC-HSBC Cham­pi­ons tour­na­ment was not re­flected in the ac­tion on the course from the four. The tour­na­ment turned into a shocker in Shang­hai when John­son went into the PGA TOUR record books for all the wrong rea­sons.

In­stead of be­com­ing the first player to win three World Golf Cham­pi­onships in one year, he tied a record for los­ing the largest lead in the fi­nal round. Six shots clear of the field, John­son didn't make a sin­gle birdie on a wild, wind-blown Sun­day for a col­lapse that even Rose didn't see com­ing.

Only when he saw a leader­board be­hind the 14th green and re­al­ized he was three shots be­hind did Rose think he might have a chance. He got up-and-down with a tough bunker shot for birdie. He made a 10-foot par save at the 15th to stay in the game. He birdied the next two holes.

Justin Rose posed with the tro­phy from the bal­cony high above the 18th green at She­shan In­ter­na­tional, a mo­ment that didn't seem pos­si­ble.

He started the fi­nal round eight shots be­hind Dustin John­son, the No. 1 player in the world.

"The be­gin­ning of the day, I was play­ing for sec­ond," Rose said.

As Rose was sign­ing for a 5-un­der 67, he looked up and saw John­son's last hope for ea­gle on the 18th tum­ble off the side of the green and into the wa­ter.

"It's the kind of day you cer­tainly don't ex­pect," Rose said af­ter his two-shot vic­tory. "It's the kind of a day you hope for - dream for - but a lot of things need to go your way in or­der for a day like to­day to hap­pen, com­ing from eight shots be­hind, es­pe­cially go­ing against a player like DJ."

John­son cer­tainly did his part. He shot 77, his high­est fi­nal round with the lead since an 82 at Peb­ble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open.

"I just could never get any­thing go­ing and didn't hole any putts," John­son said. "It was pretty sim­ple." It was sim­ply stun­ning. Mean­while, Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox was well off the pace in the fi­nal round. Ryan started the day in a tie for 33rd and shot 76 in his last round to fin­ish three-over par and in a share of 48th. Fox had rounds of 71, 69, 75 and 76.

Michael Hendry was fur­ther back at six-over par in a tie for 65th and he shot 76 in his fi­nal round af­ter ear­lier rounds of 73, 75 and 71.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.