Rose earns first PGA Tour win at Memorial

By Associated PressJune 7, 2010, 1:55 am

2007 The Memorial Tournament

DUBLIN, Ohio – Justin Rose was looking at a birdie putt on the 16th green while holding a two-stroke lead in the final round of the Memorial Tournament. Then a thunderous roar came from the nearby 15th hole.

Ahh, Rose thought, Rickie Fowler made an eagle and we’re all tied.

Except he had the wrong Ricky.

Spurred by that little scare, Rose rolled in his 13-foot birdie putt for some added breathing room, shooting a closing 6-under 66 to win the Memorial by three strokes.

Justin Rose
Justin Rose overcame a four-shot deficit to win his first PGA Tour event. (Getty Images)

“That sounded like an eagle roar to me,” Rose said. “So I thought, OK, here we go. This is all dead even. So I knew the putt at 16 was key.”

Rose, who finished at 18-under 270 to collect the $1,080,000 first prize, isn’t known to be demonstrative. But he was so pumped up by the birdie putt that he pumped his fist in celebration.

“I just felt like it swung the momentum back my way,” he said.

Actually, it was Ricky Barnes who holed an 87-yard wedge shot for the eagle at 15, not his rookie playing partner, Fowler. Fowler had led the Memorial by himself after the second and third rounds and began the day with a three-stroke cushion on Barnes and Tim Petrovic, with Rose four shots back.

Fowler was in or tied for the lead most of the day. Barnes, coming off a brilliant 62 in the third round, fell back with a double-bogey at the par-5 7th and never recovered, wilting to a 73.

That left Rose as Fowler’s closest pursuer. He birdied four of the last five holes on the front nine to pull within a shot.

Fowler, second at Phoenix and itching for his first career PGA Tour victory, bogeyed the uphill 10th to fall into a tie with Rose.

Then came the most pivotal shot of the tournament. In swirling winds, Fowler tried to feather a 5 iron into the narrow green on the famous water hole, the par-3 12th, at Muirfield Village.

“I was just trying to aim it at the back bunker and cut it off a little bit there,” he said. “The ball started going where I wasn’t trying to (hit it). I just made a bad swing – and paid for it.”

Fowler’s shot bounded off a bank and into the lake for a double-bogey, providing Rose all the opening he needed. Fowler finished with a 73 to stand alone in second.

Now clear of the field by two shots, Rose played keepaway with four straight pars. He birdied the difficult 14th and then rolled in the birdie at the 16th and was able to play for the middle of the greens on the final two holes to capture his first PGA Tour victory in his 162nd career start.

“It’s a week where I really stayed the most patient, the most within myself, and the most calm,” he said. “It’s a great way to win. And to win here at the Memorial, at Jack Nicklaus’ tournament – I couldn’t think of a better place to win my first tournament. It’s a great day.”

Rose, who’ll turn 30 next month, is far removed from the callow amateur who was marked for greatness when he pitched in at the last hole to tie for fourth place in the 1998 British Open at Birkdale. He’s won seven times worldwide, including five of the six major tours. Still, he hadn’t won anywhere for more than two years.

“Until you win over here, you don’t feel like you’ve really achieved all you want to in the game,” Rose said. “But it’s about winning worldwide, too.”

Rose was greeted by his wife, Kate, and his 15 1/2 -month-old son, Leo, who clapped his hands as his father held him.

Nicklaus, the Memorial founder and host, came away impressed with what he saw from Rose.

“He never made any mistakes,” Nicklaus said of Rose. “He just played good, solid golf.”

Rose one-putted eight consecutive greens at one point in becoming the second consecutive Memorial winner to overcome a four-stroke deficit in the final round. Tiger Woods did it a year ago.

Barnes, who shot a closing 73, was at 276 along with Bo Van Pelt. Phil Mickelson, who double-bogeyed the 15th hole after taking a drop and then hitting a metal wood from black-topped pavement near the 17th fairway, was at 277 along with Ryan Moore and Petrovic. Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink were another shot back, with 2002 Memorial winner Jim Furyk at 279 along with 21-year-old sensation Rory McIlroy, making his first appearance at the tournament.

Woods, who has won the Memorial four times, had been off the previous three weeks because of a neck injury. He fought a balky driver and never got anything going, winding up tied for 19th at 282. He vowed to be ready for the U.S. Open in two weeks at Pebble Beach.

Rose was also looking ahead. He considered the victory just the start.

“I turned pro at 17 and now I’m 29; that’s 12 years,” he said. “I figure, OK, that’s the real learning phase. I hope to be moving into my prime for the next 10 years. I don’t know what happens after that. We’ll see. I’m very excited about 29 to 39.”

 

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Web.com Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below:

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Bubba gets to drive dream car: K.I.T.T. from 'Knight Rider'

By Grill Room TeamMay 25, 2018, 4:42 pm

Bubba Watson is a known car aficionado.

He purchased the original General Lee from the 1980’s TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” – later saying he was going to paint over the Confederate flag on the vehicle’s roof.

He also auctioned off his 1939 Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk custom roadster and raised $410,000 for Birdies for the Brave.

He showed off images of his off-road Jeep two years ago.

And he even bought a car dealership near his hometown of Milton, Fla.

While recently appearing on the TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the former “Tonight Show” host surprised Watson with another one of his dream cars: K.I.T.T.

The 1982 Pontiac Trans Am was made famous in the ‘80s action show “Knight Rider.”

Though, Bubba didn’t get to keep this one, he did get to drive it.

Bubba Watson gets behind the wheel of his dream car—the KITT from Knight Rider from CNBC.

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Cut Line: USGA readies for Shinnecock 'mulligan'

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 3:26 pm

In this week’s Memorial weekend edition, the European team adheres to the Ryder Cup secret formula, the USGA readies for the ultimate mulligan at next month’s U.S. Open and a bizarre finish at the Florida Mid-Am mystifies the Rules of Golf.

Made Cut

Cart golf. When the U.S. side announced the creation of a Ryder Cup task force following the American loss at Gleneagles in 2014, some Europeans privately – and publicly – snickered.

The idea that the secret sauce could be found in a meeting room did stretch the bounds of reason, yet two years later the U.S. team emerged as winners at Hazeltine National and suddenly the idea of a task force, which is now called a committee, didn’t seem so silly.

To Europe’s credit, they’ve always accomplished this cohesion organically, pulling together their collective knowledge with surprising ease, like this week when European captain Thomas Bjorn rounded out his vice captain crew.

Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald (a group that has a combined 47-40-13 record in the matches) were all given golf cart keys and will join Robert Karlsson as vice captains this year in Paris.

Perhaps it took the Americans a little longer to figure out, but Bjorn knows it’s continuity that wins Ryder Cups.



Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

The USGA’s mulligan. The U.S. Open is less than a month away and with it one of the most anticipated returns in recent major championship history.

The last time the national championship was played at Shinnecock Hills was in 2004 and things didn’t go well, particularly on Sunday when play had to be stopped to water some greens that officials deemed had become unplayable. This week USGA executive director Mike Davis was asked about the association’s last trip to the Hamptons and, to his credit, he didn’t attempt to reinvent history.

“Looking back at 2004, and at parts of that magnificent day with Retief (Goosen) and Phil Mickelson coming down to the end, there are parts that we learned from,” Davis said. “I’m happy we got a mulligan this time. We probably made a bogey last time, maybe a double bogey.”

Put another way, players headed to next month’s championship should look forward to what promises to be a Bounce Back Open.

Tweet of the week:

Homa joined a chorus of comments following Aaron Wise’s victory on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which included an awkward moment when his girlfriend, Reagan Trussell, backed away as Wise was going in for a kiss.

“No hard feelings at all,” Wise clarified this week. “We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was.”


Missed Cut

Strength of field. The European Tour gathers this week in England for the circuit’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and like the PGA Tour’s marquee stop, The Players, the event appears headed for a new spot on the calendar next year.

As the PGA Tour inches closer to announcing the 2018-19 schedule, which will feature countless new twists and turns including the PGA Championship’s move to May and The Players shift back to March, it also seems likely the makeover will impact the European Tour schedule.

Although the BMW PGA currently draws a solid field, with this week’s event sporting a higher strength of field than the Fort Worth Invitational on the PGA Tour, it’s likely officials won’t want to play the event a week after the PGA Championship (which is scheduled for May 16-19 next year).

In fact, it’s been rumored that the European Tour could move all eight of its Rolex Series events, which are billed as “unmissable sporting occasions,” out of the FedExCup season window, which will end on Aug. 25 next year.

Although the focus has been on how the new PGA Tour schedule will impact the U.S. sports calendar, the impact of the dramatic makeover stretches will beyond the Lower 48.

Rules of engagement. For a game that at times seems to struggle with too much small print and antiquated rules, it’s hard to understand how things played out earlier this month at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

In a story first reported by GolfChannel.com, Jeff Golden claimed he was assaulted on May 13 by Brandon Hibbs – the caddie for his opponent, Marc Dull, in the championship’s final match. Golden told police that Hibbs struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

The incident occurred during a weather delay and Golden conceded the match to Dull after the altercation, although he wrote in a post on Twitter this week that he was disappointed with the Florida State Golf Association’s decision to accept his concession.

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf,” Golden wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated ‘ex-caddie’ punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

Because of the conflicting statements, it’s still not clear what exactly happened that day at Coral Creek Club, but the No. 1 rule in golf – protecting the competition and the competitors – seems to have fallen well short.