Justin Rose captured his first title in four years on Monday, making three morning birdies after a back-nine restart to win the US PGA Tour’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Rose made long birdie putts at the 11th and 13th holes and birdied 14 — all in response to birdies by his closest rivals — to secure the triumph.
Former world number one Rose grabbed his 11th career PGA victory and his first since 2019 at Torrey Pines, another California oceanside course.
“Time flies by, doesn’t it?” Rose said. “It’s amazing how long it has been.
“Sometimes you just do need a result. You can believe you’re making progress but there’s nothing like lifting some hardware to give you that peace of mind and that little bit of confidence.”
The 42-year-old Englishman finished on 18-under par 269 after going three-under on Monday to complete a final round of six-under par 66.
“This is just a moment to say thanks to people who believe in me than probably more than I do,” Rose said. “My team have been incredible. My family at home… this one is for you guys.
“What a place to win a tournament… waves crashing up. It was just an epic scene. It makes me emotional almost to win here at Pebble.”
Rose closed with four pars to become the first European champion at the event over the famed Monterey Peninsula layout, defeating Americans Brendon Todd and Brandon Wu by three strokes with US players Keith Mitchell, Peter Malnati and Denny McCarthy another stroke adrift.
The victory earned Rose berths at the Masters in April and PGA Championship in May.
“Just had an unbelievable week,” Rose said. “Incredible week from start to finish with so much happening in my favor.”
A high wind delay on Saturday had ensured a Monday finish, one of many distractions Rose navigated, including playing alongside amateurs in earlier rounds, something Rose said helped keep him calm.
“That’s the beauty of this tournament,” Rose said. “There is a lot going on. There are the amateurs. There’s the odd bounce on the greens or wobbly putts or forecast that doesn’t make sense. There’s a lot that can be thrown at you.”
Rose, ranked 71st, was on 15-under par when the final round was halted by darkness on Sunday — two strokes ahead of Malnati, McCarthy and Todd.
– Rose sinks clutch putts –
Rose, whose lone major triumph came at the 2013 US Open, returned to the course in the 10th fairway and went on to par the hole.
Todd opened his Monday with a birdie at the 13th, a putt from just inside eight feet pulling him within one of the lead.
Rose, the 2016 Rio Olympic champion, responded by sinking a birdie putt from just inside 27 feet at the 11th to reach 16-under and restore his two-stroke margin.
“I wanted to stay on the front foot. I knew some guys were going to make a run,” Rose said.
“Making that first five-footer of the day I felt was huge and then rolling in a 30-footer right on top of it at number 11 was exatly what I was looking for.
“I was able to build on that and make another couple of nice putts for momentum.”
Todd sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-5 14th, but Rose struck back again by rolling in a 19-foot birdie putt at the 13th to reclaim a two-shot edge, a fist pump showing his excitement.
Malnati, playing alongside Rose, holed a 31-foot birdie putt at the par-5 14th to grab third on 14-under.
But moments later, Rose again answered a challenge. The Englishman sank a seven-foot birdie putt at 14 — his third birdie in four holes — to reach 18-under and stretch his lead over Todd to three strokes, where it stayed to the finish.
“The birdies at 13 and 14 put me in great position. Then it was about keeping it clean,” Rose said. “I got calmer and calmer.” — Agence France-Presse