Lake Nona’s Justin Rose Notches First PGA Win

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Lake Nona resident Justin Rose this afternoon claimed his first ever title on the PGA Tour, winning the Memorial Tournament. The Hampshire golfer shot a fabulous round of six-under-par on the final day in Ohio to reach 18-under for the championship and beat American prodigy Rickie Fowler (-15).

It is a vital victory for Rose, as he has just missed out on winning some of this year’s biggest tournaments, and it also means the 29-year-old’s 2010 Ryder Cup hopes are very much alive.

Rose started the day four shots behind Fowler, but produced the round of the day to claim the title. A birdie at five got him underway, before he picked up further shots at seven, eight and nine. Rose gave himself some breathing room with birdies at the 14th and 16th, as he streaked away from the field to win in style.

Rose was actually born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to the U.K. at the age of five. He first burst to prominence at the 1998 Open Championship where as a seventeen year old amateur he holed a dramatic shot from the rough for birdie on the 18th to finish tied for fourth. He turned professional the following week, but initially struggled badly, missing 21 cuts in a row.

His form suffered for some time and even when he announced he was quitting the European Tour in March 2005 to concentrate on playing in the US, it still didn’t return. After a lot of work he has battled his way back and today’s win was a fitting way to cap it all. There was even a nice touch at the end as Rose was greeted by his wife, Kate Phillips, a former British international gymnast and their first son, Leo, who promptly applauded his dad’s victory.

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