Justin Rose’s final round at the U.S. Open got off a perfect start with a birdie on the first hole that moved him into a tie for the lead.
Little else went right for Rose on Sunday as he posted four bogeys in an eight-hole stretch at Pebble Beach that left him far out of contention to cap a weekend that started with a record-tying round and ended with him struggling to find his game.
“I was right in the tournament,” Rose said. “And then just kept missing in the wrong spot. And the putter wasn’t quite as warm today as it was yesterday. Took a bit of a day off. But I felt like I had to have a day where I pieced everything together to win. It was close. But coming in, once momentum leaves you a little bit, it just becomes hard to grind it out.”
Rose started the tournament by shooting a 6-under 65 on Thursday that tied Tiger Woods’ record for lowest score ever at a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. But Rose was just 1 under for the final 54 holes and failed to add a second major title to the one he won in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion.
He shot a 3-over 74 on Sunday to finish in a four-way tie for third, six strokes behind winner Gary Woodland.
Rose’s putter kept him in contention in the first three rounds with 34 one-putt greens, including a 10-footer on No. 18 on Saturday to move him within one shot of Woodland’s lead heading into Sunday.
The Englishman made another from 7 feet on the first hole Sunday to tie Woodland at 11 under but struggled to make more big putts along the way and quickly fell out of contention.
He dropped two shots at No. 2 when his approach from the fairway landed in the bunker and he two-putted for bogey while Woodland made birdie. His birdie putt on 3 came up one revolution short and another on 4 rimmed out as he fell three shots off the lead.
He missed an eagle putt at 6 and then made a bogey at 8 that started his run of four in eight holes and ended any hope of catching Woodland.
In all, he needed 32 putts to make it through the round Sunday after averaging just 24 through the first three rounds.
“There’s no point in letting it hurt too much,” he said. “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. I didn’t have my ‘A’ game this week. And to contend in a major with no game, really, I take the positive from that.”
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