(Reuters) – Justin Rose lost the battle but won the war, clinching the FedExCup and the $10 million prize that accompanies it with a birdie at the final hole at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday.
Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship to end a five-year victory drought and would have claimed the PGA Tour’s season-long points race as well if Rose had not birdied the par-five 18th at East Lake.
Rose started the final round in equal second place three shots behind Woods but could only manage a three-over-par 73 to finish equal fourth for the tournament.
“It was a bit of a slow death out there for me today. It was a totally different vibe,” said Rose, who two weeks ago ascended to the world number one ranking at age of 38.
“It was the weirdest day. Obviously plan A was to try to win the tournament and plan B was to do enough to win the FedExCup.
“I knew what the scenarios were. It was such a grind. Mid-round I felt I was frittering it away. Not until I felt I had given it away did I calm down and regroup.
“I clicked into a decent gear and got the job done. It wasn’t pretty but it was enough.”
The Englishman also extended his congratulations to 42-year-old Woods.
“The world of golf is really proud of you now and super excited about your game,” Rose said.
“It’s nice for us old guys to get a little moment in the sun.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)