Rose in driver's seat, Scott lurks at Torrey Pines

Ruben Hill
January 30, 2019

"The first six holes anything that could go wrong did go wrong", Rose said.

Scott, who finished with four straight birdies, carded a final round of four-under 68 but had to settle for second behind World No. 1 Justin Rose.

Even with a seemingly insurmountable advantage, Rose's track record from the front left plenty of room for doubt.

Rose took the lead during Friday's second round and led the rest of the way.

By the time Scott notched birdies on Nos.

Rose said he is relieved to see that changes he made in his equipment and his game are paying off.

Englishman Rose tied the 54-hole tournament record at 18 under following his third-round 69 in San Diego, California on Saturday.

But, double-bogeys on the par-four fourth and 14th holes and a bogey on the par-five 18th hole tarnished his scorecard, though Rose still ended the day in pole position. "It's hard to beat that when you're three [shots] back around this course". But when the Spaniard birdied the sixth hole Sunday to cut into Rose's lead, the miracle appeared much more manageable.

"Probably harder than the heart surgery itself, watching this weekend", Rose said. And then he made a pair of 12-foot birdie putts early on the front nine, saved par with a 10-foot putt on No. 4 and hit it tight on No. 5 for another birdie.

"The offseason was short and sharp", said Rose, whose 10 Tour wins is now the most among English players, moving ahead of Nick Faldo.

Rose was three strokes clear of Australian Adam Scott, who had seven birdies and an eagle in his five-under par 65 for a 15-under total of 201. Winning for Fulcher was emotionally gratifying, but winning to quiet the predictable demons was just as relevant.

The Irishman is joined by Adam Scott, Sepp Straka, Sam Burns, Bud Cauley, John Huh, Charles Howell III, Doug Ghim and Wyndham Clark and he will know a frantic finish is required if he is to trouble familiar foe Rose.

Thanks to the REAL DISTANCE spine alignment technology offered by the premium Japanese brand, the Englishman was able to lift his Tour average driving distance to 308.4 yards (303.5 in 2018) and his ball speed with the TWorld 747 460 driver to 186 miles per hour (179 last year).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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