Sunday, 13 July 2014
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

 

Justin Rose produced a flawless final round to win the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and head into The Open Championship on the back of consecutive victories.

Tied with home favourite Marc Warren going into the final round at Royal Aberdeen, the World Number Six holed long putts at the second, third and fifth as he birdied four of the first six holes and never looked like being caught.

Further gains at the ninth and 12th cemented a closing 65 and 16 under total, two shots ahead of Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg.

Rose admitted he was in uncharted territory after claiming back-to-back wins for the first time in his career, but believes he has plenty left in the tank to go for a hat-trick at Hoylake.

The 2013 US Open Champion, who won the Quicken Loans National on the US PGA Tour a fortnight ago, will now try to follow in the footsteps of Phil Mickelson by claiming his second Major title.

Mickelson, who won at Castle Stuart 12 months ago before lifting the Claret Jug at Muirfield a week later, carded a closing 65 but only moved up six places to joint 11th on a day of phenomenal low scoring.

Rose said: "I thought I would try and do a Phil this year and put it on my schedule. So far so good.

"I've won two in a row now so I've put the pressure on myself. There's no-one to blame but me. It's uncharted territory for me, I've never won two in a row before, never mind three.

"It's unbelievable to be back in the winners' circle so quickly but right now I am feeling great. I don't feel the two wins have taken a lot out of me. I feel that I've taken it in my stride.

"The Open is going to come around quickly so tonight is going to be calm and relaxed. I will enjoy the moment but my mind will definitely be back in the game as of tomorrow.

“This a great tournament - there’s definitely something special about playing golf up here and the golfing crowd are so knowledgeable and I’ve really got to love this golf course.

“It was exactly the start I was looking for, and 16 was the key. I looked at the leaderboard and I was only two ahead and felt I was bound to make bogey there. Getting it up-and-down was the key to the win.”

With the course defenceless after morning rain and no wind, Rose took full advantage by storming to the turn in 31, moving three ahead of the field.

The 33 year old, who moves from sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking to a joint career high of third, managed just one more birdie on the back nine but his flawless round saw him finish two ahead of Broberg, with Warren another three shots back in third.

Broberg had the consolation of claiming one of the three qualifying places for Hoylake, with England's Tyrrell Hatton joint fourth and Scotland's Scott Jamieson joint eighth to take the others.

Broberg – who almost had a hole-in-one at the 17th - was delighted to pick up the largest cheque of his European Tour career, having also been a runner-up in South Africa at the start of last season.

“I'm just happy to be runner up to Justin Rose,” he said. “He played really well this week. I'm just happy.”

Warren, who also came close to winning this event in 2012, said: "On the front nine today my ball-striking was up there with what it's been all week. Unfortunately the putter went cold on me and I just wasn't quite seeing the lines to be honest.

"Justin was the opposite. He seemed to be putting from outside me most of the time and holing them. Once he was out in front, he was tough to catch."

Hatton had previously been denied a place at Hoylake despite finishing joint second in the Joburg Open in February, missing out to South African Justin Walters and South Korea's Jin Jeong because of his lower world ranking.

"I'm over the moon with that," the 22 year old said. "It will be my third Open so I can't wait."

Jamieson was equally pleased, adding: "I'm delighted obviously. I did it three years ago, I think I got the last spot with a putt on the last and a similar story here. Obviously I like leaving it till the last minute.

"I just missed out an automatic qualifying place from The Race to Dubai last year. I was 31st with the top 30 getting in. I think Paul Casey pipped me by a few thousand euros at the end of the year. It would have been a sore one not to get to go, so I'm delighted to do it in the end."

Jamieson had charged through the field with a closing 64, while playing partner Stephen Gallacher went one better with a 63 that matched the course record set by Chile's Felipe Aguilar a few hours earlier.

Rory McIlroy's previous record of 64 was set on Thursday, just two hours after Broberg had established a new mark with a 65 after going out in the first group at 6:30am. McIlroy's closing 67 left him on seven under par - as he had been on Thursday evening - one shot behind Mickelson.

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1ROSE, JustinENG18-16
2BROBERG, KristofferSWE18-14
3WARREN, MarcSCO18-11
T4GALLACHER, StephenSCO18-10
T4MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-10
T4LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-10

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