This Week In Golf: Rose Sets Course Record To Win Zurich Classic

By Ron Patey

Justin Rose stuffed his scorecard with birdies at the go-low buffet that was the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. By shooting a course-record, 22-under 266, Rose claimed his seventh PGA championship. He and most of the competition feasted on the soft conditions at TPC Louisiana after rainstorms swept the track, causing nine-plus hours of suspensions and delays while turning the final round into a soggy, muggy marathon.

The Englishman took dead aim, hit his spots down the stretch and canned two birdies on the final two holes, his 29th and 30th for the day, to squeak out the one-stroke victory over Cameron Tringale of the U.S. Jason Day of Australia shared the third-round lead with Rose, but drifted down the leader board to T4 when he hit several loose tee shots that led to three bogeys. Tringale, third-place finisher Boo Weekley of the U.S. and fellow American, Jim Herman (T4), kept the heat on Rose down the stretch. The trio all fired superb last-day 7-under 65 totals.

Read more from This Week In Golf.

Next On The Tee: World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play

Rose heads west along with most of the world’s top players to the San Francisco area for this week’s WGC-Cadillac Match Play tournament at TPC Harding Park. He goes in as a heavy favorite thanks to his Zurich Classic title coming right after his outstanding 14-under 274 T2 finish at The Masters. The final field of 64 players is set now that 42-time PGA Tour winner Phil Mickelson has pulled out of the event due to personal reasons. Filling Phil’s spot will be Mikko Ilonen of Finland.

Jordan Spieth is no doubt the gold standard in this year’s contingent of golf’s finest players. Spieth followed his dominating victory at The Masters with a classy T11 at the RBC Heritage a week later, honoring his commitment to the event despite the hectic media blitz to celebrate his Green Jacket win. The Texan has been on fire throughout the campaign, having also earned the Valspar Championship title in a playoff over Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair. Spieth also recorded a couple of seconds in his home state at the Valero Texas Open and the Shell Houston Open.

Rory McIlroy, the world’s top-ranked player, comes into the match-play format with his eyes wide open and focused on what he needs to do to take out Spieth. McIlroy finally answered the wake-up call midway through the second round of The Masters after Spieth had left him in the dust in the early stages. The Northern Irishman turned his game up a few notches and went 15-under over his final 45 holes at Augusta. If this duo gets paired this week, it will indeed be a tasty bit of business for golf fans around the world.

Veteran Jim Furyk lands in California as the RBC Heritage champion. His playoff win in South Carolina over Kevin Kisner on the tight Harbour Town Golf Links signals that the 17-time PGA Tour winner has his distance control squared away. Although he had dipped some before the RBC Heritage, Matt Kuchar brings his consistent game to The Golden State. He took a nice run at becoming a back-to-back champ finishing well at T5.

TPC Harding Park plays 7,169 yards long and is a par 72.

Favorites: Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk

Players To Watch: Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey

Here are the 64 players for the WGC-Cadillac Match Play tournament, their groups and overall seed:

Group 1

Rory McIlroy (1)

Billy Horschel (18)

Brandt Snedeker (35)

Jason Dufner (53)

Group 2

Jordan Spieth (2)

Lee Westwood (26)

Matt Every (40)

Mikko Ilonen (62)

Group 3

Henrik Stenson (3)

Bill Haas (23)

Brendon Todd (42)

John Senden (60)

Group 4

Bubba Watson (4)

Louis Oosthuizen (29)

Keegan Bradley (33)

M. A. Jimenez (63)

Group 5

Jim Furyk (5)

Martin Kaymer (17)

Thongchai Jaidee (44)

George Coetzee (59)

Group 6

Justin Rose (6)

Ryan Palmer (22)

Anirban Lahiri (34)

Marc Leishman (56)

Group 7

Jason Day (7)

Zach Johnson (24)

Branden Grace (38)

Charley Hoffman (49)

Group 8

Dustin Johnson (8)

Victor Dubuisson (21)

Charl Schwartzel (37)

Matt Jones (58)

Group 9

Adam Scott (9)

Chris Kirk (25)

Paul Casey (36)

Francesco Molinari (64)

Group 10

Sergio Garcia (10)

Jamie Donaldson (30)

Bernd Wiesberger (39)

Tommy Fleetwood (54)

Group 11

Jimmy Walker (11)

Ian Poulter (27)

Webb Simpson (46)

Gary Woodland (50)

Group 12

J.B. Holmes (12)

Brooks Koepka (19)

Russell Henley (45)

Marc Warren (51)

Group 13

Rickie Fowler (13)

Graame McDowell (32)

Shane Lowry (47)

Harris English (55)

Group 14

Matt Kuchar (14)

Hunter Mahan (31)

Stephen Gallacher (41)

Ben Martin (61)

Group 15

Patrick Reed (15)

Ryan Moore (28)

Danny Willett (48)

Andy Sullivan (57)

Group 16

Hideki Matsuyama (16)

Kevin Na (20)

Joost Luiten (43)

Alexander Levy (52)

Ron Patey covered the golf industry for 21 years as a special sections editor with Sun Media. During the past five years, Patey has been a golf writer for Examiner.com.

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