Justin Rose wins at Pebble Beach to end four-year drought
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Justin Rose had a different set of goals at the start of the year.
His back was starting to become bothersome. His world ranking sank to its lowest point in 13 years. And he had reason to wonder if he would spend the first full week in April somewhere other than Augusta National.
All that changed Monday morning when Rose capped off a long week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with three quick birdies and four steady pars that gave him a three-shot victory, his first in four years.
Along with the crystal trophy — his 11th on the PGA Tour, 23rd worldwide — and the $1.62 million prize comes an invitation to the Masters. Rose has been eligible for every major dating to St. Andrews in 2010, a streak he did not want to end.
“Augusta’s definitely been a big part of being on my mind,” Rose said after closing with a 6-under 66 in cool but pristine conditions at Pebble Beach. “I thought the simple way to approach it was try to play my way into the top 50 in the world … claw my way up the world rankings and make it that way.
“Obviously this,” he said, tapping the crystal on a table (AP photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez) next to him, “is a better way from that point of view.” to make it by winning a tournament. The wind-delayed tournament So yeah, big relief forced a Monday finish, and Rose had staked himself to a two-shot lead Sunday night with an eagle-birdie-par stretch along the ocean.
And then he delivered a knockout punch early to as many as a dozen players who were within three shots of the lead at various points on the course.
After a good two-putt par on the 10th to resume his round, Rose holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 11th, a 20-foot birdie putt on the 13th and then hit a wedge to the back shelf on the par-5 14th to 8 feet for a third birdie.
From there, it was about playing it safe and soaking up the views.
For all the weather this week — and it was everything, all the time — the final three hours featured a stunning blue sky and big surf, waves crashing into the rocks and adding to a scenery that already is among the best in golf.
Rose finished three shots clear of Brendon Todd (65) and Brandon Wu (66).
“An incredible week from start to finish with so much happening in my favor,” Rose said.
The 42-year-old from England had not won since Torrey Pines in 2019, when he was No. 1 in the world.
He finished last year at No. 76, his lowest point since early in 2010.