Justin Rose had himself a superb Sunday at the Hero World Challenge.
Rosey, who lives down there in the Bahamas to avoid those dastardly tax-rates in the U.K., shot himself a Sunday 65 and was sitting alone in second in the clubhouse, giving Jon Rahm, Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson something to shoot at.
He was also eyeballing a return to No. 1 the world rankings. The math was simpler this time. If he finished second or tied for second, he’d send Brooks Koepka to No. 2.
He was looking good all the way until Finau stood over a 10-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole. Finau gave eventual winner Jon Rahm some nice breathing room thanks to a double-bogey at the par four 14th. As it turned out, it didn’t matter, par there would not have been good enough to catch Rahm.
But Finau found himself at 15-under, staring down the birdie putt at 18, momentarily tied for second with Rose.
Finau buried the birdie putt and finished solo second at 16-under, Rose went to solo third and stayed at No. 2.
“It’s not a huge goal for me, but when you have these opportunities you want to take them,” Rose said. “Obviously anytime you get to No. 1 you want to stay there, it’s a nice feeling.”
Rose will have another chance to get back to No. 1 in a couple of weeks when he defends his title at the Indonesian Masters, but he made it clear that it’s not the ranking he’s focusing on.
“The No. 1 spot’s always a byproduct of achieving probably your other goals, to be honest,” Rose said.
But when you look back at his rise to No. 1 a while back, that wasn’t the song he was singing.
He’s obviously gotten used to this revolving door situation with the Official World Golf Rankings.
Cameron Smith Repeats At Aussie PGA:
Rising star Cameron Smith put in some good work last week on the Gold Coast of his homeland. He shot 16-under at the RACV Royal Pines Resort and beat fellow-Aussie Marc Leishman at the Australian PGA Championship.
Smith shot 16-under, defeating Leishman by two shots.
American Sean Crocker got himself a top 10. He was tied for ninth at five-under par.
Another American, Harold Varner III was in really good position to chase down a top five finish. He was seven-under at the start of the final round but a 75 dropped him all the way into a tie for 16th at four-under par.