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Justin Rose Enjoys Sweet Smell of Success at Torrey Pines

By: | Mon 28 Jan 2019 | Comments

World number one Justin Rose held off the challenge of Adam Scott to win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines by two shots from the Australian

Justin Rose strengthened his grip on the world No 1 spot with a two-shot victory in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. The Englishman beat Adam Scott by two shots, recovering from a poor start to his final found by playing the last 12 holes in five under par to record a 69 and a 21-under-par winning total.

Scott, the former Masters champion who has been struggling with his game for the past couple of years, showed a welcome return to form. He birdied the last four holes to shoot a 68 and finish second. Rory McIlroy (69) finished seven shots off the lead in a tie for fifth while Tiger Woods (67) was four further back. Woods, who has won this event in San Diego a record seven times and also claimed the 2008 US Open title at the course - the last of his 14 major wins - was never in contention throughout the week but finished with five birdies in his final nine holes to climb to 10 under.

Rose, 38, was making his first appearance of 2019 and took a three-shot lead over Scott into the final round. He bogeyed the first but recovered that shot with a birdie on the third before bogeys on the fourth and fifth gave his rivals hope.

However, Scott could not take advantage, bogeying the fifth, while Spain's Jon Rahm, who started the day four back, also parred eight of the first nine holes and his solitary birdie on the sixth was cancelled out by a bogey on the 11th as he closed with a 72 to drop away.

Rose birdied the seventh and ninth to reach the turn level for the day and holed three more birdies on the back nine to take the title. "I haven't won in January since about 2002, so this feels great," said the 2013 US Open champion. "I am really happy. I challenged the status quo and changed everything up in the search to try to get better."

Rose, who switched golf club brands at the end of last year, won with new caddie Gareth Lord on his bag for just the second time, with his regular caddie Mark Fulcher recovering from heart surgery. "I felt comfortable with the way I drove the ball this week on a tough test," added Rose. "A whole new look for me. But I don't mind it, if it is going to produce this golf."

The victory secured Rose a 10th US PGA Tour title and his first win since the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour in November. "He's the number one player in the world for a reason, and he's showing why," Scott said. "Even when he was a little off, he kept it together.”

European Tour

Bryson DeChambeau claimed his first European Tour title, shooting a closing 64 to win the Dubai Desert Classic by seven shots. The World No 5 carded an eagle, seven birdies and a single bogey to finish the week on 24 under par, setting a new tournament record. Last year's champion Li Haotong, who played alongside DeChambeau in the final round, had held the previous record after producing a winning score of 23 under in 2018.

Matt Wallace finished alone in second place on 17 under after closing his round with back-to-back birdies to sign for a 68. Englishmen Paul Waring and Ian Poulter, and Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros were another stroke back in a tie for third.

DeChambeau came into the final round with a one-shot advantage over nearest challenger Li. But he soon set about increasing that lead, holing his birdie putt from 20 feet at the first before making another gain at the second.

He then continued his perfect start to the round with another birdie at the long third from close range to get to 19 under par. He then rolled off six pars as he reached the turn in 32.

DeChambeau, 25, extended his lead further, holing a 10-foot eagle putt at the 10th before picking up a birdie at the 11th to move to 22 under and open up a six-shot lead. He dropped his only shot of the day at the 12th but bounced back with a birdie from eight feet at the long 13th. DeChambeau then holed his six-foot birdie putt at the 14th and added another at the 17th before finishing off with a par to win by seven strokes.

He was delighted with his play. He said: "Today I was happy with my game. I executed a lot of great shots. Today was a pleasure. It was obviously a lot of fun to be able to finally hoist an international trophy, I'm so happy about that. I was trying to shoot 25 under today and missed it by one, but I'm happy with the results for sure.  I was trying to go as deep as possible today."

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