BETHESDA, Md. – Justin Rose has won enough times on the strongest golf courses to appreciate how one mistake can make a difference.
He got away with one Sunday at Congressional to win the Quicken Loans National.
Shawn Stefani did not.
With the poise and the putting touch of a U.S. Open champion, Rose atoned for a 4-iron he hit into the water on the 18th hole to make a 15-foot bogey putt that got him into a playoff and gave him new life. On the 18th hole in the playoff, Stefani hit the same type of shot that rolled into the same pond left of the green.
There are no second chances in a sudden-death playoff.
Rose won with a par on the first extra hole for his first victory since the U.S. Open last summer at Merion.
Everything else was forgotten at that point, Rose said. I wiped the slate clean and just focused on my putt on 18. An amazing feeling in any sort of championship when you make a putt like that. That means something. That’s special.
Both closed with a 1-under 70 and finished at 4-under 280 on a course that looked like a U.S. Open, and played like one the way so many contenders – seven players had at least a share of the lead at one point – tumbled down the leader board.
Only six players broke par in the final round.
No one crashed harder than Patrick Reed, who had a two-shot lead to start the final round, still had a two-shot lead at the turn and didn’t even finish in the top 10. He made back-to-back double bogeys, shot 41 on the back and closed with a 77 to tie for 11th.
LPGA: In Rogers, Arkansas, Stacy Lewis made a 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole to close with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory in the NW Arkansas Championship. Lewis finished at 12-under 201.
Lydia Ko, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford tied for second. Ko finished with a 65, and Kerr and Stanford shot 67. Second-round leader Michelle Wie had a 73 to tie for eighth at 8 under.
CHAMPIONS: In Pittsburgh, Bernhard Langer made a short birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Jeff Sluman to win the Senior Players Championship.
The victory was the 56-year-old Langer’s third of the year and his third major title on the Champions Tour. The two-time Masters champion shot an even-par 70 to finish at 15-under 265 at Fox Chapel.
EUROPE: In Cologne, Germany, Fabrizio Zanotti won the BMW International Open to become the first player from Paraguay to win a European Tour event, beating second-ranked Henrik Stenson on the fifth hole of a playoff.
Zanotti won when Stenson conceded after failing to hole a bunker shot. Zanotti shot a 7-under 65 to finish at 19-under 269.