BETHESDA: Britain’s Justin Rose won for the first time since capturing last year’s US Open, parring the first playoff hole to defeat Shawn Stefani and take the $6.5 million US PGA National.
The 33-year-old Englishman and Stefani, seeking his first PGA triumph, finished 72 holes deadlocked on four-under par 280 after both fired one-under 70s on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Rose hit into the trees and the water at the last regulation hole but sank a 15-foot bogey putt to stay tied for the lead, then watched the American match his watery fate at the same 18th hole to lose the playoff.
After claiming the $1.1 million top prize, Rose will take a week off before playing the Scottish Open as his final warm-up for the 143rd British Open at Royal Liverpool starting July 17.
“It’s a huge boost confidence-wise for sure,” Rose said. “I haven’t really been playing with a lead all year. To do it and get it done and make key putts, that’s huge for my psyche going into a major championship.”
Rose won his first major title last year at Merion, struggled trying to defend the US Open crown two weeks ago at Pinehurst, but on Sunday won his sixth US crown.
Rose also won the 2010 National when it was played at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia.
A Congressional Country Club layout that hosted three US Opens, most recently when Rory McIlroy won in soggy conditions in 2011, played hard and fast and as formidable as many majors in the final round.