It led to a result that was long overdue.
With a flawless final round to overcome a four-shot deficit, Rose had one-putt greens on eight consecutive holes Sunday and closed with a 6-under 66 to win the Memorial Tournament for his first title in America.
"I've had a few close calls over time, and you start to sometimes wonder why you can't get it done," Rose said.
Rose ran off three straight birdies before the turn, made a 20-foot par putt to keep his momentum, then seized control when Rickie Fowler took a double bogey with a tee shot into the water on the 12th hole. Fowler shot 73 to finish three shots behind.
When he tapped in for par on the final hole, Rose thrust his fist in the air slammed it down, as joyful as he was when he burst onto the golf scene 12 years ago as the 17-year-old amateur who tied for fourth in the 1998 British Open.
It was the second straight year the Memorial winner came from four shots behind. Tiger Woods did it a year ago, and Rose was equally impressive in playing without a bogey on a course made tough by the strong gusts.
Even his 16-month-old son Leo approved. As Rose held him aloft in his arms, the infant clapped his hands. Then came a handshake from the tournament host, Jack Nicklaus, who told the 29-year-old Englishman two years ago he would win the Memorial one day.
"To win here at the Memorial, at Jack's tournament, I couldn't think of a better place to win my first tournament," Rose said.Rose had finished second or third in the 161 tournament he had played on the PGA TOUR, enough to have doubts. He put them away with a putt on the 16th hole that wasn't as important as he thought at the time.
Rose had seen Fowler, playing in the group behind him, hitting from the drop area on the 12th. But he heard cheers behind as Fowler tried to catch up, and one of the loudest roars of the day came from the 15th hole. Rose knew it was an eagle, and he heard the fans screaming out, "Ricky."
Rickie Fowler was playing in the same group as Ricky Barnes. He wasn't sure who they were cheering, but he assumed it was Fowler.
Turns out it was Barnes.
DUBLIN - Rickie Fowler showed poise beyond his 21 years, unfazed by six hours of rain delays today at the Memorial or a series of charges up the leaderboard to keep his three-shot lead at Muirfield Village.
Fowler showed some imagination with a cut 9-iron over the water to 6 feet for his first birdie of the round, and he kept bogeys off his card for the second straight day to shoot 3-under 69 to lead Tim Petrovic (68) and Ricky Barnes, who shot a tournament-best 62 while playing alongside Tiger Woods.
Fowler was at 16-under 200 and had the largest 54-hole lead at the Memorial since Woods led by six shots in 2000.
"I'm hitting the ball well," Fowler said. "I kept it out of trouble, and I knew opportunities were coming around. It was a matter of waiting for them."
Fowler will try to become the third PGA Tour winner in the last six weeks at age 22 or under, joining Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who won Quail Hollow two days before his 21st birthday, and Australia's Jason Day, who was 22 when he won the Byron Nelson Championship.
Experience might not be a factor in this case. The five players separated by five shots going into the final round have combined for one PGA Tour victory, by Tim Petrovic in New Orleans in five years ago
Tiger Woods will return down under to defend his title at the Australian Masters.
Woods announced on his website today that he will play the Australian Masters on November 11-14. He won the event last year at Kingston Heath for his 82nd title worldwide. It also gave him a victory on every continent in which golf is played.
Tiger Woods will play the first two rounds of next week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with a familiar foe.
Woods will be in a threesome that includes Ernie Els, the runner-up to Woods 10 years ago at Pebble Beach by a record 15 shots. This time, at least they start on even terms.
Lee Westwood, who has finished in the top three in the last three major championships, rounds out the All-Star threesome
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