Two birdies in last two holes was enough to secure a first victory of the 2015 season for Englishman Justin Rose but has his victory come too soon?
The first WGC event gets underway this week and Justin Rose goes into the tournament on fine form with a second place in the Masters and a victory last week at the Zurich Classic. Rose missed three cuts in his first five events of the year and never really looked like recovering. But an impressive performance at the Masters a couple of weeks ago would’ve won him the event easy if it wasn’t for the outstanding accomplishments of Jordan Spieth. His form continued this week as he won his seventh PGA Tour event since turning pro in 1998 at last weeks Zurich Classic. A bogey-free final round of six-under was enough to secure a one stroke victory over American Cameron Tringale and fire him up the world rankings to sixth.
But can he take this form into the next event, the WGC Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park. The new format sees the top 16 players placed in different groups and then the remaining three players in the group are picked from pools. The players then play a round-robin format with the winners of the group going through to play further matches in a world-cup style format.
Rose is by far the favourite in his group, but the trio he has to play are not to be under-estimated. Ryan Palmer has made seven top 25 finishes this year, three of which he finished inside the top ten and is not shy of keeping up with the major winners. The most inconsistent player among the three is Anirban Lahiri but is also the player with the best finishes in the 2015 season with victories at both the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Hero Indian Open. The final player to make up the group is Australian Marc Leishman who is by far the under-dog with just one victory since turning pro in 2005 and only 20 top ten finishes in 161 starts. To the common amateur they seem pretty good statistics, but with a star-studded field including World number 1 Rory Mcilroy and 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth they are not very eye-catching.