Justin Rose makes stunning 8-shot comeback to win WGC-HSBC Champions

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Justin Rose makes stunning 8-shot comeback to win WGC-HSBC Champions

PGA Tour

Justin Rose makes stunning 8-shot comeback to win WGC-HSBC Champions

Here is a recap of the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China:

WINNER: Well were we in for a surprise Sunday.

Dustin Johnson took control of this tournament from the second round on, building a six-shot lead heading into the final day. This appeared to be the World No. 1’s return to the winner’s spotlight. But then, it all went awry over the final 18.

Johnson shockingly went birdie-less in a windy final round, posting a 5-over 77 to give his chasers hope. And Justin Rose took advantage.

The Englishman closed in 5-under 31 (birdieing Nos. 13-14 and 16-17) to post a final-round 67 and a 14-under total. The late jump rocketed him all the way to a two-shot win. Rose began the round eight shots back, but by day’s end he was on top.

The chaser never even thought he had a chance on Sunday until the 14th hole, when he looked at a leaderboard and saw he was three shots back. He then birdied that hole, made a 10-footer for par at 15 and birdied his following two.

This win marks Rose’s eighth PGA Tour title and his first since the 2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Johnson, meanwhile, fails to finish off his 17th career PGA Tour title. It would’ve been his fifth in the 2017 calendar year (but first in the 2017-18 season).

Johnson began the day bogey-bogey but steadied himself for the next several holes. But with no birdies coming, he remained in trouble. Three more bogeys at Nos. 12, 15 and 16 sealed his fate.

The six-shot blown lead ties him in infamy with Greg Norman (1996 Masters) and Sergio Garcia (2005 Wachovia Championship). The World No. 1 also failed to become the first player to win three WGCs in one year.

Rose’s eight-shot final-round comeback is only eclipsed in the PGA Tour record books by Stewart Cink (nine shots at the 2004 MCI Heritage) and Paul Lawrie (10 shots at the 1999 British Open).

JUST MISSED: Johnson, duh. But he finished in a tie for second at 12 under with two others – Henrik Stenson and Brooks Koepka. That duo had its chances as well. Stenson was tied for the lead with two to play but bogeyed 17 to fall off the pace. Koepka was within one on 15, which he proceeded to double bogey. Johnson missed the biggest opportunity, but he wasn’t the only one who fell short with a shot at the win Sunday.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Rose began his Sunday run with birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. A bogey-birdie-bogey-bogey finish to his front nine stalled him, but those early birdies had to give him some confidence.

Here’s a bomb he made at the third for some early mojo.

QUOTABLE: “The beginning of the day, I was playing for second.” – Justin Rose, proving he should have higher goals

SHORT SHOTS: Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Peter Uihlein and Kyle Stanley were the next-best finishers, well back in a tie for fifth at 8 under. … Jason Day came alive Sunday, firing a 4-under 68 to jump 22 spots to T-11 at 5 under. … Phil Mickelson rocketed up even more. The left-hander closed in 67 to boost himself 30 spots to a tie for 15th at 4 under. … Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama had a disappointing week. He had zero sub-par rounds on his way to a T-50 finish at 4 over.

UP NEXT: The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is up next. Follow all the action on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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