Justin Rose cruises to Fort Worth Invitational win


Justin Rose put on a dominant display as he cruised to his 9th PGA Tour title with victory at the Fort Worth Invitational on Sunday. 

Rose, who made the decision to skip the European Tour's flagship BMW PGA Championship this week, carded a final round 64 at Colonial Country Club to finish at 20-under-par - three shots clear of nearest challenger Brooks Koepka. 

A stumbling final hole bogey was one of the only chinks in a masterclass of ball striking put on by Rose for 71 holes, who carded eight birdies and two bogeys on Sunday on his way to victory. 

Such an exhibition was put on by Rose that 2017 US Open Champion Koepka, who started the day four shots back, shot a final round 63 and barely made up a shot over the course of the afternoon. 

It was the first time Rose had teed up at the longest standing PGA Tour event since 2010, and on a week which he called the best ball striking of his career, he was able to join an elite club of winners that include five-time champion Ben Hogan.

"I'm really, really proud of this one," said Rose."This is a special victory for me. I think obviously just winning here at this venue I think is really what means so much. A tournament that I pick up the trophy and the first thing I saw was Ben Hogan's name twice. It sort of says the lot.

"This event is probably at the top as far as the best ball-striking of my career goes. I think in 2012/2013 I put together some pretty special ball striking. I think I led greens in regulation one of those years. But this is sort of back to my best for sure from an iron play point of view."

For Rose this venue just strengthens an already impressive list of golf courses he has victored at over the years. Some of the others? Muirfield Village in the 2010 Memorial, the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, the 2014 Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, and the 2007 Volvo Masters at Valderrama in Spain. And you can be sure he has thought about it too. 

“If I begin to look at the courses I’ve won at, this definitely strengthens that group even more. I’m very happy my game has turned up and I’ve been inspired by some of these great venues.”

The 37-year-old, who has now notched up four Worldwide victories since November, now moves to World No.3 and 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings. It's a series that is clearly on his mind, as he described his reasons for missing the European Tour event and his hopes to challenge at Eastlake for the Tour Championships later this year. 

"It was a difficult decision and one I haven't really been able to make in the past," said Rose of missing the BMW PGA Championship in favour of appearing at Fort Worth. "If I didn't add this event, I was running out of time because I wasn't going to add anything before the US Open. After the US Open, I go back to Europe. Then we're into the FedExCup so if I didn't play this week, I probably wasn't going to fulfill my obligation with that.

“When you’re in that rarified air in the FedExCup you start to think about positioning yourself in the Top 5 for Eastlake. We all know that’s that big, big deal. It’s a golf course I have played well at in the past.”

Emiliano Grillo finished with a 64 of his own to claim solo third at 16-under, while a course record 61 from Kevin Na saw him in fourth at 14-under for the week. Fellow European Jon Rahm finished in a tie for 5th with Kevin Tway and Louis Oosthuizen on 10-under, while rookie Joaquin Niemann continued to impress, sharing ninth spot with Ben Crane and Corey Conners.