Rose To Victory!

Posted: March 12, 2012 by Kodi in Hitting the Greens

The PGA Tour’s incredible season continues as big names atop the leaderboard

Justin Rose was able to hold off the rest of the competition to win!

Tiger Woods had to withdraw from the Tourney with an Achilles injury. . . 

Last week everyone was wary about The Bear Trap but throughout the Honda Classic last week there were just 77 bogeys at the 3 hole stretch. This week the PGA Tour welcomed the field to the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, home of the Blue Monster one of the most difficult 18th hole’s at any event. There were over 60 bogeys at the Blue Monster during this week’s tournament and the PGA Tour had another battle entering the 72nd hole. Justin Rose was a couple of groups ahead of Bubba Watson and was holding a one stroke lead when Bubba approached his birdie putt on 18 to force a playoff. The Cadillac Championship was very entertaining with the PGA’s best golfers all making a play for the top of the leaderboard which isn’t surprising considering every player in the top 50 was in the field.

Going into Sunday there were a lot of big names in the chase for the Cadillac Championship including Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel, Peter Hanson and Tiger Woods among others but they were all chasing Bubba Watson who sat at -17 through 3 rounds. Watson had built a three stroke lead on his closest competitors but after missing every fairway on the front nine Sunday and scoring 4 bogeys Watson’s lead slipped away. Keegan Bradley needed just 4 holes to take the lead on Sunday after eagleing hole 1, but it was the final four holes that sealed his fate. Bradley played 15-18 at +4 including a double bogey on 18 which would take Bradley out of contention and he would finish -11 good enough to tie for 8th.

The battle was between Justin Rose and Bubba Watson and after Watson’s front nine collapse he began to turn it around, meanwhile Rose was playing two groups ahead of him. Rose is just 31 years old but it seems like he has been on the Tour for much longer after storming into the golf world when he finished 4th at the 1998 British Open at the young age of 17. Coming into the Cadillac Championship he was ranked 22 in the WGC player standings and had just 3 career PGA Tour wins but also 38 top 10 finishes and 91 top 25 finishes. Rose always seems to be near the top of the leaderboard but he doesn’t have the  trophy case he would like. Rose isn’t a flashy player and doesn’t enter the tee box with a hot pink driver like Bubba Watson but his steady pace allowed him to finish just ahead of Watson.

Rose entered the tee box at the Blue Monster with a two stroke lead but after scoring bogey he was giving Watson an opportunity to forget all of his misfortune at the front nine. Watson birdied 11 and 12 but he bogeyed the par 3 13th hole before scoring 5 straight pars to finish the final round with a +2 74. Watson had an opportunity to sink a birdie on the Blue Monster but he was unable to make the putt and there would be no playoff.  Justin Rose almost squandered another win away after bogeying 18 but Watson was unable to take advantage and Rose sealed his 4th career victory. He moved up 15 spots in the world rankings to #7 and now he has his eyes set on winning a major.

Speaking of Majors the Masters at Augusta National is just a few weeks away and some players will take the next few tournaments off to prepare. Tiger Woods was scheduled to play in at least one more tournament before April 4th but that appearance may be in jeopardy after Sunday. Tiger Woods had been playing well and made a charge on Saturday to pull within a handful of shots behind Watson. Tiger was hitting shots in the water and walking with a noticeable limp but Woods was hoping it was just his footwear.

He changed shoes and tried to chug on but by the 13th tee Woods pulled himself from the tournament and +3 thru 12 holes. Woods did what he believed to be necessary and NBC’s coverage went in a frenzy to follow Tiger and his caddie as they drove out of the golf course and down the highway, it was rather O.J. Simpson-like. Woods has battled through multiple injuries and now he has to rehab a Achilles tendon injury.  The 36 year old is battling father time but his game has been strong and I’m positive Tiger wants to add another Green Jacket to his wardrobe.

Rory McIlroy just became the WGC #1 ranked golfer and this was former #1 Luke Donald’s first attempt to take back what was once his. If Donald won the tournament and McIlroy finished outside of the top 3 Luke would once again be the #1 ranked golfer. Rory had a 73 on Thursday in his first round since capturing #1 but went 69, 65, 67 in the final three rounds to finish the tournament with a -14 274 good enough for a top 3 finish ensuring he will stay at #1 for at least another week. Luke Donald had played terribly in match play a few weeks ago but was extremely consistent shooting 70, 68, 69, 69 finishing at -12 with a 72 hole score of 276 which was good enough for a tie for 5th but not enough to regain that #1 seat.

The funniest moment from the entire tournament took place on the par 3 15th when Paul Casey aced it. Cadillac was offering a brand new car to any player that was able to ace a par 3 during the tournament. Casey swore that if he hit a hole-in-one that he would give the car to his caddie. When Casey’s shot tricked into the cup his caddie began to celebrate and his joy kept escalating. Until an official informed Casey and his caddie that it was actually the 13th hole that had to be aced and the look on the caddie’s face is priceless.

 

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