Rose relieved to secure Masters berth after ending four-year drought at Pebble Beach Pro-Am

By Sports Desk February 07, 2023

Justin Rose was relieved to secure his place at The Masters after victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am helped him end a four-year wait for a trophy.

The Englishman carded a final round of 66 to secure an 18-under triumph by three strokes, earning his 11th overall victory on the PGA Tour.

Having last won a prize at the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2019, his success in California helped both end a drought and secure a spot at Augusta.

Ensuring his card to The Masters and May's PGA Championship had been imperative in Rose's mind, but he acknowledged it was sweeter to earn it with silverware.

"Augusta has definitely been a big part of being on my mind," he said. "I thought the simple way to approach it was [to] try to play my way into the top 50 in the world.

"My intention was to come out and play solid and earn some points and claw my way up the World Rankings and make it that way.

"This is a better way to make it, by winning a tournament. It's funny how you, by winning, earn the points and everything takes care of itself.

"[It is] a big relief from that point of view to be able to plan a little bit more of the run into Augusta now. To have the luxury now is unbelievable."

Rose is also in contention to return to the Ryder Cup fold, having missed the cut for selection in 2021, though he stresses he is not even entertaining thoughts of it yet.

"The way where I've been with my game, I've had to be quite selfish and just focus on me and focus on my improvement and what I need to do to start playing better golf," he added.

"I haven't even entertained what the Ryder Cup looks like for me, other than I want to be there. Obviously I would love to play my way onto the team."

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    Aberg, Pavon and Cantlay were among the leaders as Friday's action drew to a close, with Bryson DeChambeau one shot ahead of McIlroy, alongside Thomas Detry.

    DeChambeau had a typically eventful round by mixing four bogeys with five birdies, the last of which saw him finish with a flourish on the 18th.

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    Hideki Matsuyama went one better than Detry with a four-under 66 at Pinehurst No.2 to ensure he sits in the top 10 heading into the weekend, one shot behind McIlroy.

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    PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele is at one-under after posting a 69, but it was a tougher day for world number one Scottie Sheffler, who faces an anxious wait to see whether he made the cut after ending Friday five-over. 

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