Rose Earns First European Tour Victory

By Sports NetworkJanuary 20, 2002, 5:00 pm
Justin Rose birdied three of his last four holes on Sunday en route to a 7-under 65 and his first win on the European Tour at the Dunhill Championship. His 20-under-par 268 missed Adam Scott's tournament record by one shot but was good for a two-stroke win over Mark Foster, reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and overnight leader Martin Maritz.
Anthony Wall (65), Mark Mouland (67) and Paul McGinley (68) shared fifth place at 17-under-par.
Rose was tied for the lead at 17-under with Foster and Ernie Els as he stood on the par-3 15th tee. He roped his 5-iron approach at the 225-yard hole to two feet to set up birdie and reach 18-under for the tournament.
A hole behind at No. 14, Els found trouble off the tee. He took a double-bogey at the 14th and then a bogey at No. 15, falling out of the tournament and finishing alone in ninth at 15-under-par, one shot behind Sandeep Grewal.
Foster and Maritz played the 14th very differently in the last group. Foster bogeyed the hole to fall to 16-under while Maritz holed his approach at the hole to get to 15-under for the tournament.
Rose held a one-shot lead at 18-under-par when he missed the green left at the par-5 16th. He blasted his third to tap-in range to card his second birdie in as many holes and move to 19-under, which gave him a one-shot edge over Goosen, who reached the clubhouse at 18-under.
Rose, who was born in South Africa but moved to England at the age of five, parred No. 17 but was feeling the heat as Maritz eagled the 16th and birdied the 17th to get within one of Rose's lead. Foster birdied Nos. 15 and 16 to also get to 18-under as the stage was set for Houghton Golf Club's closing hole to determine the outcome.
The 21-year-old chipped his third at the final hole inside a foot to card his third birdie over the final four holes. He reached 20-under-par, the same score he posted last year when he fell one shot shy of Adam Scott, and watched as Foster and Maritz both missed eagle chips.
'There was a couple of key moments where I was brave and pulled the trigger, especially at the 16th,' said Rose. 'I just kept saying to myself: Justin, youre a winner. You are going to win this week. Its your turn.'
The win was Rose's first on the European Tour. He came close last season, not only losing by a stroke to Scott at this event, but also taking a second at the South African Open.
Rose burst on to the scene at the 1998 British Open. He holed out a chip that gave him a fourth-place finish as an amateur and turned professional the next day. Rose missed 22 consecutive cuts on the European Tour after that but he never lost his resolve to win.
'I've always believed deep down I have the talent,' he said. 'But my family's support really helped me through all those missed cuts. I never lost belief. I knew it would come right and it has.
'I wanted my first win to be the one which stops people just remembering me for Birkdale. But, in a way, I feel all those missed cuts I had prepared me for this moment.'
Goosen fired a final-round 65 but he knew before the round started that score might not be enough.
'I thought I needed a 63 and so it proved,' said the 2001 Order of Merit champion.
Foster, the European Challenge Tour champion last year, carded a 69 but the bogey at No. 14 stopped him from earning his first title on the European circuit.
'I put myself in contention and it was another good week,' said Foster, who took fourth at the Omega Hong Kong Open in November.
Maritz, the third-round leader, struggled to a one-under 71 on Sunday.
Full-Field Scores from the Dunhill Championship
Getty Images

'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

Getty Images

Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Getty Images

Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.