On a day the conditions at Congressional Country Club resembled a U.S. Open setup, Justin Rose was able to avoid the ‘Congressional Collapse’ the final pairings incurred along with a bogey of his own on No. 18 in regulation to win on the first hole of a playoff over Shawn Stefani, to Capture the 2014 Quick Loans Championship in Bethesda, MD.
Rose, the 2010 AT&T National Champion hosted at this same venue, had one of the steadiest final rounds on Sunday as others around him collapsed down the stretch.
54 hole leader Patrick Reed struggled early making the turn at Even par before imploding on his inward nine carding just one birdie and two pars closing with a 6-over, 77.
2014 Zurich Classic Champion Seuong-Yul Noh, also in contention after 54 holes, struggled right along side Reed on Sunday and carded a final round 79 to finish in a tie for 30th.
Rose, beginning his day four shots off the lead of Reed played his final round much like it was indeed a major championship. Carding par after par, mixing in the stray birdie when the opportunity presented itself, taking little to no chances around Congressional.
That all changed as Rose played the 18th in regulation.
After pushing his tee shot well to the left into the thick rough, Rose chose to do something that saw him apparently have an out-of- body experience based on the shot selection he attempted.
With a one shot lead at the time on the final hole, he decided to take a lash and punch the ball onto the 18th green from some 200-plus yards away, from the rough, with a flier lie, bending it under and around a tree.
The result was not what he intended, nor needed.
Rose’s ball released left immediately hitting the fairway heading towards the water hazard, ultimately going into the hazard, causing Rose to card a bogey.
The shot selection at this moment in the tournament baffled me as Rose had played conservatively most of the day. Why he thought he may have needed to birdie the final hole to win we may never know.
Rose would of course go on to win the event in a relatively stress free playoff hole over Stefani, as he apparently rented Rose’s DVD on how NOT to play No. 18. Stefani repeated Rose’s mistake, punching his erred tee shot from the trees into the water short and left of the green, ultimately handing Rose the tournament.