After four years without a win it was never going to be a straight forward victory for the in-form Justin Rose. The final day of the Australian Masters offered plenty of drama as a nervous leaderboard tried to master the elements at Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne.
Strong winds made it a difficult scoring day for the players as Rose began the round with a two-shot lead. A birdie at the second seemed to put the 22-year-old in control but it was not to be all plain sailing. After finding a fairway bunker on the 7th Rose made a triple bogey eight which once again threatened to end his chances of winning ? the Englishman has had a number of opportunities to win in America in 2006 but has faded away during the final rounds.
Rose?s eight brought those behind him right back into contention. Australian amateur Aaron Pike had held the lead after a superb course record 64 on the first day and a holed bunker shot on the 14th gave him an eagle and a share of the lead once again. At a time when he has fallen back in previous events, Rose showed his class with birdies at 14 and 16 to take control. Two pars followed and were good enough for Rose to take the title by two shots.
Australians Greg Chalmers and Richard Green finished tied for second on ten-under but achieved their scores in very different ways. Green played superbly on a very tough day and shot a 69 to set an early clubhouse lead. Meanwhile Chalmers could have offered more of a threat to Rose had he not five-putted the ninth for a triple bogey.
This was Justin Rose?s return to the European Tour after spending 2006 on the US PGA Tour, in fact he only played in this event thanks to a sponsors invite. The win will move him up to 51st in the world rankings and fifth on the European Order of Merit.