Los Angeles - Justin
Rose kept the accelerator down on Sunday, firing eight birdies in a
six-under par 64 to win the Fort Worth Invitational by three strokes
from Brooks Koepka.
With his ninth PGA Tour title, Rose matched Nick Faldo for the
most by an English golfer since the US tour began keeping records in
Leading by four to start the round, 2013 US Open winner Rose was
never threatened as he won his second US tour title of the season with a
20-under par total of 260 - one shot off the tournament record.
"I'm a little speechless to be honest with you," said Rose, who said it was a "hard week" in the 38 degree Celsius Texas heat.
"I couldn't be more proud," he said.
Reigning US Open champion Koepka, playing in the final pairing with
Rose on the par-70 Colonial Country Club course, started the day four
strokes adrift and his seven-under 63 only saw him gain one shot as he
finished in solo second on 263.
For both it was a more than encouraging performance with the 2018 US Open teeing off at Shinnecock Hills on June 14.
"I would love to be more confident on the greens - wouldn't we all,"
Rose said of any specific improvement he'd like to make in his game.
But he was delighted to see work on his game paying off.
"This week was a big step in the right direction, taking the range
game to the golf course," Rose said. "You see your progress on the range
long before you see it on the course."
Rose opened with back-to-back birdies and after a bogey at the third
he birdied three in a row from the fifth through the seventh. After
birdies at nine and 11 he rolled in a 26-footer for birdie at 15 and
saved par from a bunker at 16.
An anti-climactic bogey at the last proved irrelevant, with Koepka dropping a shot there, too.
That was the only
blemish on Koepka's card, after eight birdies that included a hole out
from a bunker at the sixth. Koepka also birdied the par-five 11th - a
hole where he made double-bogeys twice this week.
Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who began the day tied for second, carded a six-under par 64 for third place on 264.
"It's been a great week for sure," he said. "I just had to fight with
two guys in the top 10 in the world. They showed up today."
American Kevin Na, who held the 18-hole lead after a first-round 62, went one better with a course record-tying 61 on Sunday.
"I played amazing today," Na said after posting nine birdies without a bogey. "I struck it beautifully. Made a ton of putts."
Na birdied the second, third, fourth and eighth to make the turn in
31. Back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11 were followed by another brace at
14 and 15.
Needing an eagle at the 18th to break the course record, Na nearly holed out from 146 yards, tapping in for birdie.
Leading final-round scores on Sunday in the PGA Tour Fort Worth Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas (USA unless noted, par-70):
260 - Justin Rose (ENG) 66-64-66-64
263 - Brooks Koepka 70-63-67-63
264 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 64-67-69-64
266 - Kevin Na 62-73-70-61
270 - Kevin Tway 66-69-68-67, Jon Rahm (ESP) 68-70-64-68, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67-71-64-68
271 - Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 68-72-65-66, Ben Crane 66-69-68-68, Corey Conners (CAN) 71-68-63-69
272 - Ben Silverman (CAN) 66-69-72-65, Tim Herron 66-70-68-68, Chris Kirk 66-71-67-68
273 - Bill Haas 67-73-69-64, Danny Lee (NZL) 70-69-69-65, Tyrone Van
Aswegen (RSA) 67-67-71-68, Rickie Fowler 67-69-69-68, Brian Harman
72-67-64-70, Ryan Armour 68-68-66-71