Golf: Rose rises to challenge for first US win

JUSTIN ROSE put his first victory in America down to hard work after arguably the best round of his life won him the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

Rose came from behind to beat Rickie Fowler by three as the Englishman ended his 162-tournament wait for a win on the PGA Tour with a closing 66.

Rose said: "I have had a few close calls and sometimes you wonder why you can't get it done. But when you do it feels easy. It's nice to have the hard work pay off."

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He added: "I really tried hard not to distinguish a huge difference between winning in Europe and wining in America. I think winning is winning, and you get a great buzz and get the same feeling."

Rose said he had to keep his emotions in check, particularly after he turned a four-shot deficit to overnight leader Rickie Fowler into an 18 under par victory.

"To win a PGA Tour event, I think you certainly need to have 100 per cent control of your emotions. I've got to be honest, the last tournament I won was the 2007 Volvo Masters, and I didn't win it in a fashion that I was actually terribly proud of. I was four or five ahead at one point and ended up winning in a play-off."

A magnificent closing 66, the low round of the day, and an 18-under-par total of 270 made the 29-year-old the third European to win in the States this season after his close friend and Ryder Cup partner Ian Poulter's success at the WGC-Accenture Match Play and then Rory McIlroy's stunning Quail Hollow Championship victory.

Rose made his first birdie on the fifth and then had three in a row from the seventh to turn in 32.

He was still behind at that point, but 21-year-old Fowler, also chasing his maiden win, bogeyed the 10th and then found the water on the short 12th for a double-bogey five.

Rose took control with further birdies on the 14th and 16th, but Fowler put the pressure back on by picking up shots at the 14th and 15th.

However, the youngster left a bunker shot in the sand on the short 16th, dropped another shot and could find no way back with Rose rock solid. The former European Tour No.1's first PGA Tour event was the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale when he finished a spectacular fourth as a 17-year-old amateur.

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Rose, 66th in the world, will move just outside the top 30 and it lifts him from 27th to eighth on the European Ryder Cup world points list.