Last Updated: 17/06/19 3:29am
Justin Rose admitted he lost his momentum as his US Open challenge stalled on the back nine in the final round at Pebble Beach.
The Englishman began the day one behind overnight leader Gary Woodland, with the pair playing in the final pairing for the second day running, and birdies at the first and sixth – either side of a bogey at the second – kept him firmly in the hunt.
However, a bogey at the eighth, where his putter let him down for the first time, saw him fall slightly off the pace and he then dropped away with further bogeys at the 12th, 13th and 15th.
Rose eventually finished in a tie for third place on seven under, after carding a three-over 74, six behind Woodland who played some rock-solid golf over the closing holes.
“I worked really hard to be in this situation with my game this week,” said Rose, the 2013 US Open champion.
“Obviously didn’t quite have it early, but did a brilliant job of hanging around. Today I came out feeling really good. Swung it much better my first six, seven holes, felt like I was looking for birdies out there.
“A lot of guys were getting out to a good start. So I had a positive mindset there, about moving forward in the tournament and making some birdies. But I made three good saves at nine, 10 and 11. I was right in the tournament and then just kept missing in the wrong spot.
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“The putter wasn’t quite as warm today as it was yesterday. Took a bit of a day off. But I felt like I had to have a day where I pieced everything together to win. It was close. But coming in, once momentum leaves you a little bit, it just becomes hard to grind it out.”
Rose is now looking forward to The Open at Royal Portrush next month, and will take plenty of positives from his performance in California.
“I’m getting closer for sure, and I’m getting hungrier, and I’m determined,” added the 38-year-old.
“So I feel good about preparing for that one [The Open] now. And in these situations you definitely enjoy them and want more of them. Today there’s a couple of things to be learned from. I felt like I had a hard time, my focus out there didn’t click in around the turn. I was fighting it a little bit.
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“So I had to rebuild and reset over the last few holes, and I started to really narrow my focus again, pick better targets. So that’s a lesson. You can’t get sloppy out there. It shows up in these big events if that happens down the stretch.”