In the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship, Justin Rose holes his 67-yard approach shot on the par-4 12th hole for an eagle.
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Justin Rose finally figured out how to navigate the devilish greens at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday afternoon. He kept his putter in the bag.
Rose holed out twice for eagle on the back nine to cap a roller-coaster week at THE PLAYERS Championship, finishing with a 1-under 71 for a four-round total of 2-over 290.
“I don’t ever seem to be able to make putts around here so I tried a different strategy,” cracked Rose, who played the weekend here for only the fifth time in nine events. “It was nice. I got it back to respectability today, managed to shoot under par, and took some good feelings away from the week.”
On the 358-yard 12th, Rose dropped in his 67-yard approach with a lob wedge. After stringing together a trio of pars, Rose chipped in from 26 feet in front of the green with a pitching wedge for an eagle 3 on the 523-yard 16th. He would par the 17th but three-putt the 18th green for a finishing bogey.
After an opening-round 76, Rose fought back in the second round with five birdies in the first seven holes on the back nine to make the cut with a 68 — only the fourth time in 28 tries he’s shot in the 60s at THE PLAYERS.
“Gutted it out to make the cut, which was important,” said Rose, who won the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship this season and came into the week ranked seventh in the FedExCup standings. “Haven’t missed a cut all year and didn’t want to start here. I was pretty motivated for that round.”
But Rose carded a 75 in Round 3, which included a double bogey on the 10th hole and a triple-bogey 7 on the 14th. For the week, Rose played the back nine at TPC Sawgrass 38-32-41-33.
Rose pointed to his putting as the culprit.
“I find it hard to see the lines on the greens here,” said Rose, who ranked near the bottom of the field this week in the all-important Strokes Gained-Putting statistic. “The whole week revolved around the putter and the frustration builds from not making putts and it can bleed into the rest of your game. When you’re not making putts — that’s what it boils down to.”
Despite the rough week on the greens, the four-time PGA TOUR winner has plenty to look forward to this season, as he looks to keep shooting up the FedExCup standings.
“It’s going to be a long summer of golf,” said Rose, “but I feel like my game is in good shape.”