By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- If you had asked Justin Rose at the beginning of the week whether he expected to be in the hunt on Sunday at The Barclays, he probably would have been pretty non-commital.
The reigning U.S. Open champion simply hadn't been playing as well as he would have liked the last few weeks. He said he "struggled" in Thursday's pro-am at Liberty National, as well.
Once the competition began, though, Rose seemed to steadily turn the corner -- and he came within a missed 5-footer for par at the 72nd hole of forcing a playoff with his good friend Adam Scott. So the Englishman, who closed with a 68, couldn't be too disappointed with the four-way tie for second.
"I felt like the whole run for the FedExCup Playoffs has only just started and I felt like where my game was this week, I didn't expect to be in this position," Rose said. "I felt like I was working my way back to playing well. Surprised to see it all come together this week, but I feel like that I can get so much stronger, really, the remaining few weeks of the season."
With the tie for second, the Englishman moved to fifth in the FedExCup standings. Rose has a pretty good history in the Playoffs, too, with a win at the 2011 BMW Championship and a runner-up at last year's TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola to go along with Sunday's second place.
"I really feel good about the way I built my game this week, and the Playoffs are a long run," Rose said. "I knew during the four weeks, I was going to put myself in contention, and I think I feel really comfortable with where my game is at and that I can make a really good run at Atlanta."
Rose came to the 18th hole on Sunday tied with Scott, who had finished about 45 minutes earlier. Rose was well-aware of his position, and he had an uphill 25-footer with a left-to-right break that he thought was makeable and would have given him the lead alone.
"I was surprised to see it go five feet by, I mean, I've got to say," Rose said. "But it is what it is. Disappointing way to finish. So in some ways, surprised 11 under par was where it was in the tournament. Some guys were clearly struggling out there on the back nine, which I guess is a testament to how good a round I put together, but yeah, disappointing to finish that way obviously."
Rose isn't sure whether he pushed the 5-footer for par but regardless, it "wandered off" to the right, he said. He had to thread the ball through a couple of spike marks but Rose felt like he aimed right center and put a "reasonable roll" on it.
"I guess sometimes you can't do more than that," Rose said. "The error was putting myself in that situation. You're clearly a little bit nervous at that point and you really don't want to give yourself five feet coming back.
"But at the same time, like I said I felt good on both putts, I really felt like I was going to make the first one and that was going to be my opportunity. I felt like if I was going to be in a playoff to win this golf tournament, I was going to have to make a putt at some point.
"That was my mind set, obviously, and clearly got too aggressive."