JUSTIN ROSE LEAVES NO DOUBT AT COLONIAL, SHOOTS SUNDAY 64 TO WIN FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON
Brooks Koepka gave Justin Rose his best shot on Sunday at Colonial, posting a seven-under 63 in the swelter Texas sun. And it still wasn’t nearly enough. Nothing was stopping the Englishman at the Fort Worth Invitational, as he shot rounds of 66-64-66-64 to finish three strokes clear of Koepka and making him the fifth multiple-winner on the PGA Tour this season.
“I’m delighted with the way I played this week,” Rose said. “Obviously the way I hit the ball this week I can be proud of the way—I’m a little bit speechless to be honest with you. Fooch [Rose’s caddie Mark Fulcher] and I had a great week out there. What a hard week, Fooch just kept me hydrated, fed, watered. Some of the challenge this week was just getting around this golf course.
“I haven’t played this venue in awhile, [so] to win on a golf course like Colonial, I couldn’t be more proud. It’s such a special golf course, I’ve loved playing here this week.”
Rose, who hadn’t made an appearance at Colonial since 2010, will be back for good now, and may have a few more wins in Fort Worth in his future if he plays as well as he did this week. He ranked first in the field in greens in regulation, strokes gained/total, strokes gained/tee-to-green and strokes gained approach-the-green. The impressive performance earned him his ninth career victory on tour, and it indicates he could be peaking at just the right time as he looks to win a second U.S. Open in a few weeks at Shinnecock Hills.
“I’d love to be more comfortable on the greens, wouldn’t we all,” Rose said. “But I feel like I’ve still got upside. When I look at my game I still feel like, this week was a big step in the right direction. Taking the range game to the golf course, there’s always a bit of a lag effect. You see your progress on the range long before you see it on the golf course, and this week it came for me, but there’s still more work to be done.”
Koepka, who will be defending his U.S. Open title at Shinnecock, looks to be rounding into form as well despite just returning from a wrist injury. He’s steadily improved in all three of his last starts, tying for 42nd at the Wells Fargo, tying for 11th at the Players thanks to another final-round 63 and now this week’s solo second.
“Feel like I’m playing really well,” Koepka said. “You know, for some reason over the past two years I feel like we probably had more second-place finishes than anybody. That’s kind of disappointing. At the same time, I’m playing well. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.”
Emiliano Grillo shot a six-under 64 to finish in solo third, giving him his best finish this season. Kevin Na came in one stroke behind in solo fourth, tying the course record with a nine-under 61.
Source: Golf Digest