COM­ING UP ROSE

Even-par round helps him avoid an­other late fall

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

Eng­land’s Justin Rose takes home sec­ond tour ti­tle in his last three starts,

NEW­TOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Cling­ing to a one-shot lead, Justin Rose stood over his tee shot on the 18th hole at the AT&T Na­tional when he heard fire­works in the dis­tance. The cel­e­bra­tion had started some­where in Philadel­phia, just not Aron­imink.

Rose knew that from ex­pe­ri­ence.

Only a week ago in the Trav­el­ers Cham­pi­onship, he took a three-shot lead into the fi­nal round and col­lapsed on the back nine for a 75. On Sun­day at Aron­imink, he was five shots clear go­ing to the back nine and found him­self in a bat­tle he didn’t ex­pect.

He lost an­other big lead. This time, he didn’t lose the tour­na­ment.

Rose hit ev­ery green in reg­u­la­tion on the back nine, in­clud­ing the fi­nal one, and closed with seven straight pars for an even-par 70 to win for the sec­ond time in three starts on fin­ished with seven straight pars to win AT&T Na­tional. the PGA Tour.

The re­lief at the Me­mo­rial came from win­ning for the first time in Amer­ica.

The re­lief at Aron­imink was for learn­ing not to lose.

“I knew hav­ing not closed out last week it was im­por­tant for me — just for my­self — to do it to­day,” Rose said af­ter his one-shot vic­tory over hard­charg­ing Ryan Moore. “Still, it’s never easy to close these things out, I’ll tell you.”

Staked to a five-shot lead at the turn af­ter a 5-wood to tapin range for ea­gle on the ninth hole, Rose had three-putt bo­geys on the 10th and 11th holes — af­ter hav­ing gone 274 holes with­out one.

Moore one-putted his last eight greens, in­clud­ing a 12foot par putt on the 18th hole, for a Sun­day-best 65 to make Rose work to the very end.

Rose fin­ished at 10-un­der 270, mov­ing up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup stand­ings be­hind Ernie Els. Jeff Over­ton shot 67 on the fi­nal day to take third, and Char­lie Wi (69) was fourth.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Tiger Woods shot a 1-over 71, mark­ing the first time in 11 years that he didn’t break par over four rounds in a reg­u­lar PGA Tour event. He wound up 14 shots be­hind Rose, the most Woods has fin­ished out of the lead since the 2006 Play­ers Cham­pi­onship.

“It feels good to hit the ball as well as I did this week,’’ said Woods, not sound­ing wor­ried. “I just need to get my put­ter or­ga­nized a lit­tle bet­ter.’’

Justin Rose

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