Justin Rose wins FedExCup after 'swing of the week' on closing hole at East Lake
"I am sure over here Stateside I am not the most popular guy for making birdie down the last but he has got enough money!"
Last Updated: 24/09/18 1:09am
Justin Rose says he was indebted to his "swing of the week" as he overcame a back-nine wobble at the Tour Championship to make a closing birdie and seal the FedExCup in dramatic fashion.
The Englishman, who needed a fifth-place finish or better to win the season-long prize after Bryson DeChambeau's struggles at East Lake, appeared to be in a commanding position at the turn in second spot, but a run of three bogeys in five holes saw him slip into a share of sixth with two holes remaining.
Rose nearly made birdie at the 17th, only for his effort to just finish short, but he found the green at the par-five 18th in two and two putts saw him end in a share of fourth place, denying Tiger Woods, who won his first title in five years with a two-shot victory, the crown.
"I talked about plan A and plan B [beforehand]. Plan A just never seemed to be that much in my mind - Tiger had a solid start, everyone else was doing nothing [and] some of the chasing pack played well," Rose told Sky Sports.
"Then it just got really grindy out there. I started to see why people struggle around it. I missed more fairways. I started to do a couple of things wrong - a couple of three-putts here and there. It became hard work.
"[But] I then started to play well, just one bad swing off the 16th tee - I was in two minds whether to hit driver or three wood, but I guess it boiled down to the 18th.
"I hit the swing of the week off the tee down there and had this jumpy seven iron lie. I obviously caught a break off the top of the bunker and it bobbled onto the green. I was waiting for a break all day. To get it on the last hole was great timing."
I am sure over here Stateside I am not the most popular guy for making birdie down the last but he has got enough money"
Justin Rose on stopping Tiger Woods winning the FedExCup
Despite his birdie finish, Rose was unable to retain his world No 1 ranking, which would have required a closing eagle, as Dustin Johnson moved back to the summit of the game.
Rose had become world No 1 for the first time in his career with a second-place finish after losing a play-off at the BMW Championship earlier this month and admitted it was a difficult final round psychologically, having failed to offer a threat to Woods' lead
"I felt more pressure as I was throwing it away but then as I got back to what I needed to do from 14th onwards I clicked in and felt really comfortable," he said.
"But it was a weird scenario when I wasn't going to win the tournament but I was trying to not throw away the FedExCup. It was a horrible scenario to be playing in. Fortunately I just clicked into gear in the nick of time.
"Obviously we are all delighted for Tiger - these are crazy scenes out there. I am sure over here Stateside I am not the most popular guy for making birdie down the last but he has got enough money!"
The 2013 US Open champion described Woods' return to the winner's circle as "unbelievable" and something which had been coming after some excellent performances - highlighted by a second place finish at the PGA Championship last month.
Guys can have good results and be scratchy doing it but he has looked great all year.
Justin Rose on Tiger Woods
"All year long he has looked like winning. he has played some great golf - he has looked to me world class again.
"Guys can have good results and be scratchy doing it but he has looked great all year. It was just a matter of time and I am so happy for him."
The dramatic denouement to the PGA Tour season comes just days before the Ryder Cup, live on Sky Sports, at Le Golf National outside Paris and Rose says he is excited about the challenge of playing in his fifth edition.
He said: "Today is going to take a little bit of absorbing and sinking in but I can't wait to go over to Paris.
"We are going to need you guys - it is going to be nice to have a role reversal and have the crowds on our side. Can't wait to get back to get back over and represent Europe in the Ryder Cup."
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