Rose wins playoff at Congressional

Justin Rose won the US PGA’s Quicken Loans National after a tense playoff with Shawn Stefani.

Both Rose and Stefani would card one under 71’s in their respective final rounds on Sunday, leaving them on four under on the challenging Blue Course at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.

However, Rose nearly blew his chance to tie with the American as he found the trees on the final hole and then the water. But the Englishman held his nerve to sink a 15-foot bogey putt to stay tied for the lead.

The pair returned to the 18th for the playoff, where Stefani was the first to crack under the pressure. A wayward shot left him in an awkward spot with no view of the green because of the grandstand. Stefani would take a drop but his low punch shot hooked into the water.

Rose landed his second in the middle of the green and two-putted for a par, while Stefani would make a double bogey, handing Rose his first win since last year’s US Open.

“A playoff can be won and lost within one swing and fortunately I was on the right side of that,” said the 33-year-old.

“It’s a huge boost confidence-wise for sure. I haven’t really been playing with a lead all year. To do it and get it done and make key putts, that’s huge for my psyche going into a major championship.

“It has not been lost on me that I have not won for over a year so it was nice to get on the right side of that very quickly.”

One shot behind the leaders was American duo Charley Hoffman and Ben Martin, while overnight leader Patrick Reed slumped to a disappointing six over 77 after a disastrous round that included three double bogeys.

It is the second win for Rose at the Quicken Loans National. He walked away the victor in 2010 when the event was hosted at Aronimink Golf Club. However, he feels Congressional was a much tougher challenge.

“It’s the first double-winner I am of any tournament and to be double-winner of this one, it means a lot,” added Rose.

“I think Congressional wanted its reputation back. It tested all of us.”