On a day of endless drama at Doral, Fla., Justin Rose won his first World Golf Championship standing on the practice range.
Rose had to make up a three-shot deficit against Bubba Watson, and then a two-shot deficit against Keegan Bradley. Rose was steady down the stretch Sunday, even with a bogey from the bunker on the 18th hole, and closed with a 2-under 70 to win the Cadillac Championship.
Watson, as always, made it interesting. He hit a bullet of a 4-iron out of the palm trees to just inside 10 feet for a chance to force a playoff. His birdie putt missed on the low side, ending a wild day even by his standards. He closed with a 74.
If that wasn’t enough, Tiger Woods muddied his Masters future when he left after 11 holes with soreness in his left Achilles tendon, wincing badly on his final shot – a 321-yard drive down the middle of the 12th fairway. Woods said he would have it evaluated to determine the scope of the injury.
Rory McIlroy, who started the final round eight shots behind, holed a bunker shot for eagle on the 12th hole. McIlroy pulled within one shot of the lead with a birdie on the 16th hole, but he closed with a bogey and a 67 to finish alone in third at 14 under.
Through it all, Rose worked his way to the top of the leaderboard with a nifty up-and-down behind the green on the par-5 10th, and he seized control of the tournament with a shot into 5 feet for birdie on the 14th.
Rose finished on 16-under 272 for his 10th victory worldwide, moving him back into the top 10 of a world ranking that remains loaded with Europeans.
Puerto Rico Open
George McNeill birdied the last three holes for a 3-under 69 to rally past Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa and win the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande.
Ishikawa, on the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that left his homeland in ruins, closed with a 68 and had a one-shot lead. McNeill caught him with a birdie on the 16th, took the lead with a birdie on the 17th and added another birdie on the par-5 18th.
McNeill finished at 16-under 272 and earned $630,000 for his second career victory.
Ishikawa, 20, a nine-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, had his best PGA Tour finish.
Ishikawa has earned $582,471 on the PGA Tour this season, surpassing the $411,943 – No. 150 on the 2011 money list – needed for special temporary membership.
Henrik Stenson (71) and Boo Weekley (66) tied for third, three shots behind.
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