Posted February 6, 2023 in "Watts" In The Bag by Tom Brassell
By The Associated Press
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Justin Rose took all the drama out of a long week with three quick birdies that sent him to a three-shot victory Monday in the wind-delayed AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, ending four years without winning and making him eligible for the Masters.
Rose played it safe down the closing holes, finishing with four simple pars for a 6-under 66, three shots clear of Brendon Todd (65) and Brandon Wu (66).
“An incredible week from start to finish with so much happening in my favor,” Rose said.
He finished at 18-under 269 and won for the 11th time on the PGA TOUR, and his 23rd title worldwide over the last two decades.
The 42-year-old from England had not won since Torrey Pines in 2019, when he was No. 1 in the world. He had fallen well out of the top 50. Rose has been eligible for every major dating to the 2010 Open Championship, and that streak was in jeopardy until winning.
Rose had a two-shot lead when play resumed on a crisp morning with bright sunshine and big surf along Pebble Beach. Todd made two birdies and was within one shot of the lead, but not for long.
Rose holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole, a 20-footer for birdie on the 13th and then hit lob wedge to 8 feet on the par-5 14th that stretched his lead to three shots.
The back nine, so difficult in the final hours Sunday evening, was hardly a threat Monday morning. The wind was light and coming from the opposite direction, if anything at the players’ backs instead of into them.
The weather played a big role all week, and no one benefited quite like Rose.
He was six shots out of the lead and going nowhere, facing the strongest wind of the week on the Shore course at Monterey Peninsula, when he hit 5-wood into the par-3 ninth to 3 feet. Before he could mark his ball, the wind blew it some 4 feet farther away.
That was enough for officials to halt play — the ninth and 15th greens at Monterey Peninsula were the problems — on all three courses in the rotation. Rose returned Sunday morning and made what then was a 7-foot birdie putt.
He played those final 10 holes in 6 under for a 65 to take the lead, and then a pivotal eagle-birdie stretch with the wind at his back at Pebble on Sunday afternoon in the final round gave him a cushion.
Denny McCarthy was two shots behind when play resumed and had birdie chances on the 16th and 17th that he couldn’t covert. He wound up with a 64 and finished four shots behind, along with Keith Mitchell (68) and Peter Malnati (69).
This week of weather was more about wind than rain, although Pebble offered a little of everything. At one point on Sunday, there was rain, wind, hail and sunshine, all within a one-hour window.
It ended with a stunning blue sky and surf crashing against the rocks lining the 18th fairway as Rose capped off a week he might not have seen coming.
Check out “Watts” in Justin Rose’s bag below.
Driver: Callaway Paradym (8.5 degrees) – Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X
3-wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees) – Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX
5-wood: TaylorMade M6 (18 degrees) – Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX
Irons: Cobra King Tour (4-PW) – Shafts: Project X
Putter: Axis1 Rose
Grip: Lamkin PistolClaw
Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot