Sport : Golf

JUSTIN ROSE CLAIMS BIGGEST VICTORY

12th March 2012, 12:13am

Justin Rose: Winner in Miami

Justin Rose: Winner in Miami

Justin Rose claimed the biggest victory of his career after a dramatic day's golf that saw Sergio Garcia take 12 on one hole, last week's winner Rory McIlroy come close from eight adrift and Tiger Woods pull out injured again.

A closing 70 for 16 under par gave Rose his fourth title in America at the Cadillac Championship, the second of this season's World Championship events.

The 31-year-old beat American left-hander Bubba Watson (74)

by one and McIlroy (67) by two, earning more than £875,000 and leaping back into the world's top 10 after starting the week 22nd.

A bogey at the last gave Rose a nervous wait when Watson, playing behind, hit his second shot from the rough to nine feet, but he missed the birdie putt.

Rose said: "These moments are incredibly sweet - they are few and far between as a golfer.

"My son asks if I've won the trophy and 90 per cent of the time you have to say 'no'.

"There's been a lot of hard work going on in my game and it's paid off - but Bubba's two shots to 18 had me sweating there.''

The triumph is also a huge boost for Rose's hopes of reclaiming a Ryder Cup place after being left out by Colin Montgomerie in 2010 despite two victories in the States that summer.

While he and world number one McIlroy now cannot wait for The Masters in less than a month it remains to be seen if Woods, a four-time winner at Augusta, will even be there.

The 36-year-old, who had time out of the game in 2008 and again last year because of knee problems, was clearly limping as he withdrew after playing the first 11 holes of his final round with three bogeys and not a single birdie.

He was televised driving himself away just a few minutes later, having told a media official "left leg injury" and no more, and news of his condition will now be anxiously awaited by his fans. The first word from the medical team at the course was that it was his Achilles heel rather than his knee once more. Changing into softer shoes at the turn had indicated that that might be the case.

Woods, who a week ago looked back to his best when he fired a closing 62 to finish runner-up to McIlroy, is due to play his final Masters warm-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational the week after next.

Garcia could not blame what happened on the third hole on any physical ailment. He drove into the lake and then dumped three more balls in before eventually finding dry land again.

Watson led by three overnight and had a two-putt birdie on the first, but he threw the tournament wide open with a hat-trick of bogeys from the third.

He was in the water - only once unlike Garcia - there and again off the fifth tee and Rose's birdies at the first and fourth put him him in front.

He then bogeyed the sixth, however, and Keegan Bradley became favourite when he established a two-stroke advantage after seven holes.

However, the USPGA champion took bogey sixes at the eighth and 10th - he four-putted that one - then totally fell away and Rose became the man to catch again after further birdies at the 10th and 14th.

Watson caught him by suddenly finding form with birdies at the 11th and 12th, but he was bunkered on the next.

McIlroy teed off almost certainly thinking he faced too much of a deficit.

Yet after an outward 33 he got up and down from sand for birdie at the 10th and holed out from the sand for eagle at the 12th. Suddenly he was only one behind, but a bogey on the 14th for the second day running left him a mountain to climb again and, with his chances fading, he dropped another on the last.

"It's been another good week," said the 22-year-old. "This is my fifth event of the season and my fifth top five.

"It feels like every time I tee it up I have a chance to win. Now I'm looking forward to three weeks off to prepare for The Masters."

Collated final round scores & totals in the World Golf Championships - Cadillac Championship, TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Miami, Florida, United States of America

(USA unless stated, par 72):

272 Justin Rose (Eng) 69 64 69 70

273 Bubba Watson 70 62 67 74

274 Rory McIlroy (NIrl)73 69 65 67

275 Peter Hanson (Swe) 70 65 69 71, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 68 69 70 68

276 John Senden (Aus) 76 67 68 65, Luke Donald (Eng) 70 68 69 69

277 Keegan Bradley 69 67 66 75, Steve Stricker 69 70 69 69, Bo Van Pelt 73 65 70 69, Matt Kuchar 72 67 66 72

278 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 69 74 68 67

279 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 75 68 71 65, Adam Scott (Aus) 66 68 74 71, Graeme McDowell (NIrl)75 67 67 70, Johnson Wagner 70 69 67 73

280 Nick Watney 71 73 69 67, Zach Johnson 70 68 67 75, Charles Howell III 70 67 71 72

281 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 75 68 70 68, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 71 70 68 72, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 73 64 70 74, Jason Day (Aus) 73 67 70 71

282 Hunter Mahan 71 72 66 73, Robert Rock (Eng) 75 70 68 69, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 68 68 75 71, Martin Laird (Sco) 72 73 66 71, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 76 68 69 69

283 Anders Hansen (Den) 70 72 69 72, Jason Dufner 66 72 73 72, Garth Mulroy (Rsa) 73 71 69 70, Bill Haas 74 70 70 69, Gary Woodland 71 70 70 72, Lee Westwood (Eng) 76 67 68 72

284 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 73 70 70 71, Branden Grace (Rsa) 78 72 64 70, Webb Simpson 75 66 66 77, Chez Reavie 78 68 67 71, Dustin Johnson 75 68 73 68, Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) 69 71 72 72, K J Choi (Kor) 74 67 70 73, Jonathan Byrd 72 70 70 72

285 Phil Mickelson 72 71 71 71, Darren Clarke (NIrl)74 74 68 69

286 Retief Goosen (Rsa) 74 71 71 70, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 69 71 73 73, Brandt Snedeker 75 69 70 72, Rickie Fowler 74 70 72 70, Mark Wilson 72 70 72 72

287 Hennie Otto (Rsa) 73 66 71 77

288 Paul Casey (Eng) 76 71 68 73, Ben Crane 73 71 73 71, Kyle Stanley 69 69 76 74, K.t. Kim (Kor) 74 72 70 72

289 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 73 73 70 73, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa) 74 70 73 72

290 Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 72 71 73 74, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 69 74 71 76

291 Y.E. Yang (Kor) 72 67 76 76

293 Tadahiro Takayama (Jpn) 74 73 75 71, Paul Lawrie (Sco) 70 74 72 77, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 75 74 68 76, Ian Poulter (Eng) 76 77 71 69, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 77 70 74 72

294 Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 75 70 75 74

295 Vijay Singh (Fij) 75 73 72 75, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 76 73 71 75

296 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 72 76 71 77

297 Alexander Noren (Swe) 74 75 72 76

298 Tetsuji Hiratsuka (Jpn) 78 73 70 77

299 Sang-moon Bae (Kor) 79 76 73 71

300 Simon Dyson (Eng) 74 72 73 81

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