Monday Finish: Rose cements elite status
January 28, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Justin Rose Round 4 highlights from Farmers
FedExCup champion Justin Rose has kick started his assault on going back-to-back in the season long race with an impressive record-breaking win at Torrey Pines.
Welcome to the Monday Finish where Rose stumbled, then steadied himself, on the way to cementing himself at the top of golfs elite.
1. The Best Can Always Adjust
Justin Rose had the weight of history on his shoulders on Sunday and very easily could have folded his lead when his start was less than stellar. The FedExCup champion is better than that though. Never mind the fact he’d only converted four of the 15 times he had the 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR. Or the fact nine of the last 10 Farmers Insurance Open winners had come from behind on Sunday. Or the fact he played the first five holes two over (with three bogeys) to bring the chasing pack into play. Rose rallied from that point like an elite player should, playing the last 13 holes in five under. Even when Adam Scott produced a small run at him late on Rose snuffed it out with a clutch wedge shot on the 18th to preserve a two-shot win. The best players can adjust mid-round under the gun. Rose is clearly one of those.
2. Armlock works
Adam Scott should persevere with his new armlock putting. After making a last-minute switch to the putting style before the tournament the former PLAYERS champion produced a rare great week on the greens. His runner up finish was his best since winning the World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship in 2016. It was just the 10th time since the beginning of 2016 Scott finished inside the top 25 of the field in Strokes Gained: Putting. He’s been inside the top six, including two wins, on eight of those ten times. With Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley all using the method to wins in the last year Scott could very well be next.
3. Pick Hideki
Did you see the two shots Hideki Matsuyama hit on Sunday from fairway bunkers in to par-5s? His first, from 273 yards on the ninth that finished 21-feet from the hole was incredible. His second, from only 228 yards, had to carry the famous pond in front of the 18th green before settling at 17-feet. Those were just two spectacular shots on a very solid week from the Japanese star. So here’s the bottom line after the 5-time PGA TOUR winners third place finish at Torrey Pines… if you don’t pick him to win next week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open then you’re a brave soul. Matsuyama has two wins already at TPC Scottsdale, plus a T2 and T4. The only blemish was a WD last season after a wrist injury curtailed his quest of a three-peat.
4. Gooch sets base towards TOUR card
Talor Gooch had a relatively tough rookie stretch last season on the PGA TOUR, failing to get a single top 10. He finished outside the FedExCup Playoffs but did manage to scrape his way into conditional status, a place where knowing your next start can be tough. But the 27-year-old has run into some nice form the last two weeks, finishing fourth at the Desert Classic and then tied third at Torrey Pines. The first effort secured his spot at the Farmers Insurance Open and this effort gets him back out there again this week in Phoenix. At a career high 27th in the FedExCup Gooch has set a base to make his first Playoffs. He has 328 points now, already more than his 308 from last season. Last season it took 377 points to make the Playoffs.
5 Big Cat will be better for the run
Tiger Woods had opportunity to be a real contender at Torrey Pines once again but at crucial times he couldn’t turn his crisp iron play into birdies. Woods’ bid for an eighth Farmers Insurance Open was most likely lost late in the second round when he was closing out his day on the front side of Torrey Pines North. After a double bogey at the turn set the 80-time PGA TOUR winner backwards Woods went back-to-back birdies on his 12th and 13th holes of the round to gain some momentum. In his remaining five holes, two were par-5s and two were short getable par-4s. Had he made his move through that section he could have been heading for the weekend with a serious sniff. But instead Woods only parred home and sat way off the pace. His final round 5-under 67 was the pick of the week and left him with a T20 finish and some momentum going forward towards the Genesis Open in a few weeks’ time.
1. Rose’s 21-under 267 (63-66-69-69) was the lowest score at the Farmers Insurance Open since the South Course was toughened up in the early 2000s, breaking Tiger Woods’ 19-under mark from 2008.
2. This was Rose’s 10th PGA TOUR win in his 326th start, the most by an Englishman since 1945. Three of Rose’s wins have come since the start of last season. He’s finished in the top 10 in 13 of his last 21 TOUR starts, including eight top-3 finishes and just one missed cut.
3. Rose ranked fifth on the Torrey Pines South Course in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green – outperforming the field by +1.876 strokes per round on approach shots.
4. Rose played the par-3s at Torrey Pines a combined 6 under par. Rose was one of five players to not make a bogey or worse on a par 3 for the week (of players who made cut). His 6 under par was the best in the field and his second-best par 3 performance in a single week of his PGA TOUR career.
5. Rose and Adam Scott became the sixth and seventh players to surpass $50 million in PGA TOUR career earnings.
The Wyndham Rewards Top 10 is in its first season and adds another layer of excitement to the FedExCup Regular Season. The top 10 players at the end of the FedExCup Regular Season will earn bonus payouts from the Wyndham Rewards Top 10.
Xander Schauffele remains in top spot while reining FedExCup champion Justin Rose moves to sixth with his win at Torrey Pines.
Rank Rank last week Player What Top 10 gets (End of Regular Season) 1. 1st Xander Schauffele $2 million 2. 2nd Matt Kuchar $1.5 million 3. 4th Gary Woodland $1.2 million 4. 3rd Marc Leishman $1.1 million 5. 5th Charles Howell III $1 million 6. 40th Justin Rose $850,000 7. 6th Bryson DeChambeau $700,000 8. 7th Kevin Tway $600,000 9. 8th Brooks Koepka $550,000 10. 9th Cameron Champ $500,000