England’s Justin Rose won the WGC-Cadillac Championship at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Florida by a single shot from Bubba Watson of the USA.

Through a day of numerous vacillations, Rose was one of many players with a chance to take the year’s second WGC title. But, the 31-year-old held firm on the back nine with birdies on the 10th and 14th, then pars all the way to the challenging home hole.

The Englishman made a bogey there and that meant an anxious wait as Watson, playing in the last group, could match Rose’s 16-under-par total with a birdie at the final hole.

The American fired a superb shot from the rough to within 10 feet of the hole, but his putt narrowly missed and the title went to Rose. It was the biggest win of the Englishman’s professional career and it has lifted him to seventh on the Official World Golf Ranking.

“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,” said Rose. “These moments are incredibly sweet – For this little beauty of a trophy to show up on my mantelpiece so early in the season is definitely a fantastic feeling, and it sets up a very exciting year for me now.”

World number one Rory McIlroy played a superb final round to give himself a chance of a second win in successive weeks in Florida. The Honda Classic champion teed off eight shots behind Watson, but after the left-hander had stumbled through the front nine and McIlroy made a birdie at the 10th then an eagle at the 12th, the Northern Irishman was just one back.

But he fell back with a bogey at the 14th then another bogey at the last saw McIlroy finish the week alone in third place.

“It’s been another good week,” he said. “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.”

Peter Hanson of Sweden and defending Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel ended the week tied for fourth while Luke Donald was tied sixth with John Senden.

It was a bad day for former world number one Tiger Woods who withdrew from the final round after 11 holes because of an injury to his left achilles tendon.

WGC – Cadillac Championship
Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Florida
Mar 8-11, purse €6,308,116 par 72

1   Justin Rose (Eng)      69   64   69   70   272   €1,048,140
2   Bubba Watson (USA)   70   62   67   74   273   €632,627
3   Rory McIlroy (NIR)   73   69   65   67   274   €386,314
T4   Peter Hanson (Swe)   70   65   69   71   275   €271,393
T4   Charl Schwartzel (RSA)   68   69   70   68   275   €271,393
T6   Luke Donald (Eng)   70   68   69   69   276   €194,654
T6   John Senden (Aus)   76   67   68   65   276   €194,654
T8   Keegan Bradley (USA)   69   67   66   75   277   €123,531
T8   Matt Kuchar (USA)   72   67   66   72   277   €123,531
T8   Steve Stricker (USA)   69   70   69   69   277   €123,531
T8   Bo Van Pelt (USA)   73   65   70   69   277   €123,531

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Where next?
PGA Tour –
George McNeill wins Puerto Rico Open