The 33-year-old struggled off of the tee throughout the afternoon, finding trouble on land and sea. After a birdie at the par-5 first hole, Watson struggled to a 3-over 39 on the front nine, including three consecutive bogeys on Nos. 3-5.
Watson pegged the troubling start on his stance.
'My ball position was a little off, he said. I was a little too close to it, too far from it. It takes a few holes to figure it out, and then I had some chances on the back nine.
He clawed back on the final nine, drawing even with Rose at the 12th with another birdie on a par 5. An immediate dropped shot at the par-3 13th, however, left him in need of birdies down the tough closing stretch.
Still with a chance at the punishing finishing hole, Watson had a nine-footer to force a playoff after hitting an imaginative approach. The putt, however, never had a chance.
'(My caddie and I) just misread the putt on 18. We just didn't give enough. We thought it was not going to break as much, and it broke about three inches too much,' he said.
Despite coming up short, Watson has finished no worse than T-18 in six starts and cashed his biggest check of the year.
'I was proud of myself for fighting, not giving up, keep grinding it out and never got down today,' he said. 'I never got mad at myself.'