MIAMI | Justin Rose played with Bubba Watson
during the first three rounds and marveled
at his ability to bust the ball to the farthest
reaches of the property and extricate himself from precarious positions all around. On
Sunday, in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac
Championship, it was Rose’s turn to blossom,
and Watson’s to wilt.
With a final round of 70 and 16-under total
of 272, Rose nursed a two-shot lead down the
stretch and prevailed by a stroke on Doral’s TPC
Blue Monster even after the Englishman
bogeyed the 18th and Watson missed a nine-foot birdie putt that would have forced a playoff.
Watson, who began the day with a three-shot lead on Rose and Keegan Bradley, posted
a 74 and ended solo second at 15-under 273. It
marked the seventh time in 10 PGA Tour events
this season that the 54-hole leader has been
unable to win on Sunday.
“It turned out to be a battle rather than a
birdie fest,” Rose said after playing his back
nine in 1 under, opening a two-shot lead when
he made a six-foot birdie putt at the 14th hole,
then followed that with three straight pars. “It’s
definitely a fantastic feeling and sets up a very
This was a wild day of wind, rain squalls and
the withdrawal of Tiger Woods from the tourna-
ment with what he described as a left Achilles
It also was a day when Rory McIlroy, who
started the round eight shots off the lead, got to
within a shot of Rose when he eagled the 12th
hole and birdied the 16th. But a bogey at the
18th, the toughest hole on the course all week,
completed his round of 67 and he finished alone
in third place at 14-under 274.
“I would have taken this after Friday, only
being 2-under par after 14,” said McIlroy, still
ranked No. 1 in the world. “It’s been a really
good weekend, and a lot of positives to take
from it. It wasn’t quite the way I wanted to
finish, but it’s still been a good week.”
Bradley, who had a two-shot lead after he
birdied the seventh hole, faded badly down
the stretch in his quest for his first PGA Tour
victory of the year. He had four bogeys on the
back nine, including the final two, and ended in
a four-way tie for eighth place after posting a
Watson had one of the day’s most memorable shots, a 4-iron laser from 191 yards
between several palm trees in his path to the
18th green. He hit that shot to within nine feet,
but said he misread the line of the putt that
missed badly on the left side of the cup.
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