Justin Rose hits full bloom at just the perfect time
English golfer takes Scottish Open and looks to follow it up at Hoylake
Justin Rose tees off at the fourth hole during his final round on the way to victory in the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen. Photograph: Kenny Smith/PA
Justin Rose cruised to victory in the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen on Sunday to claim back-to-back wins for the first time in his career.
And the former US Open champion, who won the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour a fortnight ago, will now try to follow in the footsteps of Phil Mickelson by claiming a second major title in the British Open at Hoylake.
Mickelson, who won at Castle Stuart 12 months ago before lifting the Claret Jug at Muirfield a week later, carded a closing 65 but only moved up six places to joint 11th on a day of phenomenal low scoring at Royal Aberdeen.
With the course defenceless after rain throughout the morning and no wind, Rose took full advantage by storming to the turn in 31, moving three ahead of the field after sharing the overnight lead with Scot Marc Warren.
The 33-year-old, who moves from sixth in the world rankings to a joint career high of third, managed just one more birdie on the back nine but completed a flawless 65 to finish 16 under par, two ahead of Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg.
Broberg had the consolation of claiming one of the three qualifying places for Hoylake, with England’s Tyrrell Hatton joint fourth and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson joint eighth to take the others.
Jamieson charged through the field with a closing 64, while playing partner Stephen Gallacher went one better with a 63 that matched the course record set by Chile’s Felipe Aguilar a few hours earlier.
Rory McIlroy’s previous record of 64 was set on Thursday, just two hours after Broberg had established a new record with a 65 after going out in the first group at 6:30am.
McIlroy’s closing 67 left him on seven under par – as he had been on Thursday evening – one shot behind Mickelson.
Shane Lowry continued his fine recent form to finish in a tie for fourth position after a 66 left him on 10 under.
Pádraig Harrington will also have a spring in his step when he heads south to Liverpool after a closing 67 left him on three under.