The Englishman shot a 73 (+2), his worst round of the week, in the final round to finish six shy of Gary Woodland
Where Did It Go Wrong For Justin Rose?
Justin Rose began the final round of the 2019 US Open one back of the lead and was the favourite with 18 holes to play, with Brooks Koepka three behind and only Gary Woodland ahead, who had never held the 54-hole lead in a Major before.
What transpired was a classy and nerveless performance from Gary Woodland whilst Rose tumbled down the leaderboard.
The Englishman began one back in 2nd place and ended the day six back in T3rd.
It was by-no-means a choke from Rose, who had been struggling with his iron play all week, but it was still a surprise to see him play no part in the title challenge on the back nine.
Rose is a steely competitor and as gritty as they come, but the exacting Pebble Beach demanded great ball striking or bogeys were inevitable.
His putter had saved him all week but it didn’t on Sunday, and the simple fact is that you can’t win a Major with your B game.
Whilst Brooks Koepka was four under after five holes and Gary Woodland two under for the first three, Rose fought to play his first seven in one under par before falling back with four bogeys and four pars in his next eight holes.
His 10-12ft missed birdie putt on the 7th perhaps set the tone for the day, but it began to unravel after a miss from 4ft on the par-3 12th to fall three behind his playing partner.
“I made two good saves — three saves: 9, 10, 11. I was right in the tournament. And then just kept missing in the wrong spot,” he said.
That margin stretched from three to six over the remaining holes as Rose bogeyed 13, failed to birdie the par-5 14th and then dropped another shot at 15.
He was struggling to find greens in regulation all week and it was the same story on Sunday, and his red-hot putter was cool like the weather at Pebble Beach.
Things need to go your way in Majors and you have to go out and win them. Whilst Rose was trying to hang on, Woodland went out and won it, beating true world class operators like Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose in the process.
Rose is a former World No.1 and has achieved just about everything in the game, but is a far better player than his tally of one Major would suggest.
Sunday might not feel like it for him, but it will likely go down as the one that got away.
On the other hand, as Rose said after the round, even the fact that he contended in a Major without having his best stuff will give him confidence, but it must be annoying that in one of his best putting weeks his long game let him down.
“Today it doesn’t hurt,” the 2013 US Open champion said.
“You reflect and go how can I get better?
“There’s no point in letting it hurt too much. It hurts if you lose at the death and you make a mistake.
“Like the way it happened for me today, it’s like, yeah, I’m more proud of the fact I even gave myself a chance.”
A T3 at the US Open is a positive result for Rose, though, and his best Major finish of the year after a missed cut at The Masters and a T29th at the USPGA.
Next up is the Open Championship at Royal Portrush, a tournament in which he was runner-up last year.
“I’m getting closer for sure, and I’m getting hungrier, and I’m determined. So I feel good about preparing for that one now,” he said of Portrush.
“And in these situations you definitely enjoy them and want more of them.
“Today there’s a couple still things to be learned from.”
Can Rose go and lift the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush? 100%.
He’ll certainly need to tidy up his game, but if he putts like he did this week he will once again find himself in contention on Sunday.
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