SAN FRANCISCO – Last week’s winner was the first one to record a loss Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play.
Just a few days after playing near-flawless golf to win in New Orleans, Justin Rose suffered a 3-and-2 defeat to Marc Leishman on the first day of pool play at Harding Park.
In the traditional format, Rose would be sent packing after the opening loss. Now, he needs to refocus in his next two matches and still get some help from the other three players in his group.
“I don’t feel very hopeful right now,” he said, “but I have a shot, so I guess that’s a good thing.”
After cutting the deficit to 1 down at the turn, Rose made back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11 and watched Leishman drain a 9-footer to build a 3-up advantage.
“He gave me nothing,” Rose said.
The Englishman felt a cold coming on during the weekend in New Orleans and felt “terrible” during the Tuesday pro-am. After a good night’s rest, Rose said he felt better than he sounded.
“I had every hope of playing well,” he said.