Justin Rose triumphs after play-off at Congressional

Englishman’s Major boost before forthcoming British Open at Hoylake

 Justin Rose holds  the trophy after winning the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland USA.  Rose beat US golfer Shawn Stefani after a one hole playoff. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Justin Rose holds the trophy after winning the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland USA. Rose beat US golfer Shawn Stefani after a one hole playoff. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

 

Justin Rose emerged last man standing to win the $6.5 million (€4.8m) Quicken Loans National at the first extra hole in a playoff at Congressional Country Club in Maryland on Sunday.

Britain’s Rose sank a 15-foot bogey putt at the final regulation hole before parring it a few minutes later to edge unheralded American Shawn Stefani in Bethesda.

Rose and Stefani each shot 70 to finish at four-under-par 280 on a course that played much tougher than when it hosted the US Open three years ago, due to firm and fast conditions and plenty of lush rough.

“I think Congressional got its reputation back after the US Open,” Rose, whose 72-hole score was 12 strokes higher than Rory McIlroy carded to win the Open, said afterwards.

Rose, 33, collected €856,000 for his sixth PGA Tour victory, and his second in this event, with his previous triumph coming in 2010 at another classic course, Aronimink near Philadelphia. He also has won six times internationally.

Huge boost

Rose had to sink an eight-foot putt to save par at the 17th and then got up-and-down from 30 yards for bogey at the par-four 18th after pulling his second shot from the rough into the pond guarding the left side of the green. But Stefani, ranked 246th in the world, found the same watery grave in the playoff and could not do better than double bogey, handing Rose the tournament.

Stefani earned a consolation prize of a berth in the British Open, as did fellow Americans Charley Hoffman, Ben Martin and Brendan Steele. Overnight leader Patrick Reed’s reputation as a good frontrunner took a battering when he shot 77 to finish four strokes behind.

He had won the previous three times when he led after 54 holes. Five players were tied late on the front nine before Rose and Stefani emerged from the pack. South Korean Noh Seung-Yul started the day equal second, but limped home in 79 after a back nine of 43.

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