Justin Rose held off a late challenge from Adam Scott to claim his third win of the season at the Farmers Insurance Open
Rose recovered from a turbulent start to claim his 10th PGA Tour title by two shots at Torrey Pines South Course on Sunday with a final-round 69 to get to 21-under-par (267). And he did it in just his second outing with his new Honma clubs, and without his regular caddie.
“I always pride myself on the golf courses I've been able to win on and this one is another very great golf course with a lot of history,” Rose said. “I love winning on great tests of golf and this one will give some special feelings because of that.”
Rose missed four short putts in his first six holes that left his three-shot overnight lead reduced to just one thanks to a bogey, par, birdie, bogey, bogey start.
But the World No.1 didn't let the poor start get to him, and recovered with gains at the seventh and ninth holes to get back to 18-under-par.
"I said, ‘All right, we build the round from this moment on," Rose said.
"Over the first six holes today, it was a case of anything that could go wrong did go wrong, and I felt I didn't play that badly. In the past I might have got a little rattled, a little shaken by that start but I didn't today."
What followed was a ball-striking masterclass with his new clubs. He hit his approach to eight feet on the 10th to add a further birdie, and saved an excellent par on the 14th after nearly holing out for birdie from the greenside bunker.
Adam Scott began to edge closer to Rose over the final stretch and piled on the pressure with birdies at 15 and 16, but Rose holed a 20-footer of his own at 16 to move three ahead with two to play.
Scott added another birdie on the 17th and needed to force the eagle on the par-five last, but found a bunker from the tee and similar to Rose, was forced to lay-up. Both players then hit their approach shots to just a few feet, giving Rose a near tap-in birdie to win the title by two.
Afterwards, Rose said the key to his win was staying patient.
“I never lost the lead so I had to stay patient,” Rose said. “Definitely there were times in my career where I've had decent sized leads and you start to throw it away a little bit and you panic. I just knew I couldn't do that today. I stayed calm, I stayed with it.”
“I just said, "You're No. 1 in the world for a reason, just start playing like it, please."
Rose dedicated his win to his regular caddie Fooch, who won't be on the bag for a few weeks as he recovers from heart surgery. Instead, he claimed the title with Henrik Stenson's former bagman Gareth Lord.
"Fooch that was for you mate," Rose said. "I'm sure watching us all weekend was harder than the heart surgery.
"There's two trophies now in my golf room that you have to get rid of. There was one before now there's two. So no doubt that's a mission for us both. I love you and I'll see you soon."
As for his comments on switching to HONMA golf clubs, he said: “Everything has worked out better than I would have hoped”
Adam Scott finished in solo second, with Hideki Matsuyama and Talor Gooch tied for third on 16-under, with defending champion Jason Day on 14-under with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
Tiger Woods, who was making his first start of 2019, finished tied 20th on 10-under-par.
WITB: Justin Rose
Driver: Honma Tour World TW747 460 (9.5 degrees), with Honma Vizard FD-7X shaft
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 80 TX shaft
Irons: Honma Tour World TW-X proto (2), Tour World Rose proto (4-9), with KBS C-Taper 125 shafts
Wedges: Honma Rose proto (47, 52 and 56 degrees), with KBS C-Taper 125 shafts; Titleist Vokey Design SM7 Raw K Grind (60 degrees), with KBS High Rev 2.0 135 shaft
Putter: Axis 1 prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5