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Rose rolls back the years as weather gods smile on him

Former world No.1 Justin Rose has taken advantage of favourable conditions to win at Pebble Beach on California’s coast, his first success in four years.

February 7, 2023
7 February 2023

Justin Rose has ended four years without a victory and booked a place in the Masters with a Monday-morning success at Pebble Beach.

The Englishman made three quick birdies to secure a three-shot winning margin in the wind-delayed tournament, finishing ahead of a posse of Americans led by Brendon Todd and Brandon Wu.

“An incredible week from start to finish with so much happening in my favour,” Rose said. It’s amazing how time does fly.

“This is just a moment to say thanks to the people who believe in me more than I do. This one is for you guys. I wish you were at Pebble with me.”

He finished at 18-under on 269 to claim his 23rd title worldwide over the last two decades.

The 42-year-old had not won since Torrey Pines in 2019, when he was world No. 1. He had fallen well out of the top 50. Rose has been eligible for every major dating to the 2010 British Open, and that streak was in jeopardy.

Rose had a two-shot lead when play resumed on a crisp morning with bright sunshine and big surf along Pebble Beach. Todd made two birdies and was within one shot of the lead, but not for long.

Rose holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole, a 20-footer for birdie on the 13th and then hit lob wedge to eight feet on the par-5 14th that stretched his lead to three shots.

The back nine, so difficult in the final hours Sunday evening, was hardly a threat Monday morning. The wind was light and coming from the opposite direction, if anything at the players’ backs instead of into them.

The weather played a big role all week, and no one benefited quite like Rose.

He was six shots out of the lead and going nowhere, facing the strongest wind of the week on the Shore course at Monterey Peninsula, when he hit into the par-3 ninth to three feet. Before he could mark his ball, the wind blew it some four feet further away.

That was enough for officials to halt play. Rose returned Sunday morning and made what then was a seven-foot birdie putt.

He played those final 10 holes in six under for a 65 to take the lead, and then a pivotal eagle-birdie stretch with the wind at his back at Pebble on Sunday afternoon in the final round gave him a cushion.

It was the second Monday finish in four years at Pebble Beach because of weather. It ended with a stunning blue sky and surf crashing against the rocks lining the 18th fairway as Rose capped off a week he might not have seen coming.

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