Justin Rose held a one-shot lead when he stepped up to hit his tee shot on the 18th hole of the AT&T National tournament. Fireworks began to explode in the background from somewhere in the Philadelphia area, and Rose made sure he did not suffer the collapse he experienced on the back nine a week ago.
At the Travelers Championship last week, Rose held a three-shot lead going into the final 18 holes. The back nine was not helpful to Rose, and he lost the lead while shooting a final round 75. Sunday, Rose had a five shot lead going into the final nine holes, and Ryan Moore provided the challenge the course couldn’t.
In a turn around from the previous week, Rose hit every green in regulation on the back nine. The British player scored seven straight pars to finish with a even-par 70 to take his second victory in three starts on the tour. After the round he revealed to reporters that he was glad to earn the win after giving it away last week.
“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. “Still, it’s never easy to close these things out, I’ll tell you.”
Moore was Rose’s biggest threat, one-putting on the last eight greens. He hit a 12-foot par putt on the 18th to close his final round at 65. In the end, he was one shot short of the Brit. Rose two putted for par on the 17th and pared the 18th for the one-shot win.
“I knew level par would get the job today,” Rose said. “Every two-putt felt like hard work coming in, I’ve got to tell you. It was good fun. I felt very much in control of my emotions, and it’s been a long week. But I’m very glad we’ve got to this point with a win.”
Moore said he felt good going into Sunday’s round six shots back because of the hole locations, and ruff height on the course. He admitted after the round that Rose did just what he needed to do to win.
“Justin played really good, solid golf today,” Moore said. “He won the golf tournament. I did everything I could to make him think about it, and he played better at the end.”
A consolation for Moore might be that his second place finish earns him a spot in the field at the British Open. Rose also earned his way to St. Andrews along with Bubba Watson, who made a special money list.
Tiger Woods wasn’t close to contention for the lead. His 1-over 71 score marked the first time in 11 years that he didn’t break par over four rounds on in regular PGA event. He finished 14 shots out of the leader spot, the most since the Players Championship in 2006.
Golf sportsbooks have set Phil Mickelson as the favorite to win the 2010 Barclays Scottish Open at 8/1 odds. Ernie Els and Graeme McDowell have favorable chances at 14/1 and 20/1 respectively.