Rose weathers storm delays to win Zurich Classic
England’s Justin Rose overcame a formidable field and weathered nearly 10 hours of delays and suspensions since Thursday to capture the wet and wild Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana.
Rose played bogey-free golf over his last 66 holes, including 30 on Sunday, on route to a final round 66 and a tournament record of 266 (22-under), to secure his seventh victory on the PGA Tour.
The Bahamas-based Rose birdied the closing two holes to become the third England-born player to win the title after Harry Cooper claimed the inaugural Crescent City Open in 1938 and former World No. 1 Lee Westwood captured the 1998 Freeport-McDermott Classic.
Australia’s Jason Day added a huge confidence boost to his WGC-Cadillac defence following a fourth place finish on Sunday. Day closed the rain-soaked tournament with weekend rounds of 68 and 69 to sit three strokes off the winning pace.
“Four rounds in the 60s was nice but I kind of ran into a Justin Rose train there. The game feels good, you know…feels like it’s gearing up towards Match Play. Got another grueling week next week so I’m going to need some rest, but I’m overall very happy.”
Rose heads to Wednesday’s starting World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco and THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on May 7-10 with momentum and feeling good about his game.
“This is a great shot in the arm of confidence and I just got to keep it going,” said Rose, currently the ninth-ranked player in the world. “It obviously gets me up there in everything I want to be up there in; a boost in the (Official Golf) World Ranking, a boost in the FedExCup, a huge boost in confidence.
“Now I can target the major championships all the way through the summer without having to chase anything in between. It’s going to be great.”
Rose forged into the lead in the fourth round with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18, draining putts from 10 feet on the 211-yard, par 3 and 13 1/2 feet at the 573-yard, par 5 finishing holes.
Cameron Tringale came up 18 inches short on a eagle chip from 49 feet at the closing hole that would have put him in a tie with Rose. Tringale finished alone in second place at 21-under 267, one shot better than Boo Weekley (65) at 20-under 268.
Jim Herman (65) and third-round co-leader Jason Day (69) finished tied for fourth at 19-under 269.
“Earlier this year, it looked impossible to win,” said Rose, who finished T2 at this year’s Masters Tournament. “I was struggling with my game, and when you are struggling with your game, sometimes winning seems very far off.
“As a player to make the putt exactly when you need to is huge,” Rose said. “I don’t think I’ve made a putt to win a PGA TOUR event outright like that before. That was the first time I’ve had a significant length putt to win.”
After starting out 1-over through his first six holes in Thursday’s opening round, Rose shot 23-under over his last 66 holes, including 10 under over the 30 holes he played Sunday because of suspensions and delays caused by rain, darkness and fog in the third round alone.
Rose, 34, now has won at least one tournament in six consecutive seasons, trailing only Dustin Johnson who has won at least once in eight straight.
Steven Bowditch finished the best of the Australians behind Day at T12 following a final round 66.