Congressional got its luster back. Justin Rose and his recent triumph is making people look his way.
A late mistake in the final day almost robbed Rose of the Quicken Loans National at Congressional but he was able to recover, force a playoff, and move past Shawn Stefani.
ESPN.com reports that Rose compensated for a late 4-iron shot that went into the water on the 18th hole to make a 15-foot bogey that earned him a playoff. On the 18th hole of the playoff, Stefani surprisingly hit the same shot that Rose did that also rolled in to pond left of the green.
Rose captured his first win after capturing the U.S. open last summer by registering a par on the first hole. This latest triumph was more challenging than that as he mustered all efforts and prayed for some luck to turn his fortunes.
"Everything else was forgotten at that point," Rose said. "I wiped the slate clean and just focused on my putt on 18. An amazing feeling in any sort of championship when you make a putt like that. That means something. That's special."
"And then the playoff, it was just up to me to not do what I did the first time around."
When he made the blunder with the 4-iron, Rose thought that all was lost as Stefani just made bogey behind them at the 17th. Instead, he concentrated on the 15 foot shot that gave him a bogey. Stefani had a chance to grab the victory but missed a 20-foot birdie putt that could have sealed the win.
In the ensuing playoff, Stefani made the wrong turn the winner made - he pulled his tee shot in the trees. He chose a 6-iron to drive through the trees but instead the ball flew left into the water, sealing his fate.
The tournament was played with a semblance to the U.S. Open specifically with the course and the number of contenders - seven players each had a share of the lead at one point and at the final day nobody was sure of who was really going to walk away with the win. Nevertheless, Congressional made heyday with the exposure and the limelight.