Paul Anthony Arco

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Smelling Like a Rose

Monday, September 19, 2011

Justin Rose wasn’t going to let this one slip away.


He came close, though.


But with hard-charging John Senden fast on his heels, Rose drained a big-time chip in for birdie on No. 17, and hung on for a two-shot win Sunday in the BMW Championship at soggy Cog Hill near Chicago.


Rose shot a 13-under 271 and moved up 31 spots to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings. Senden shot 11-under 273 to finish second for the fourth time in his career and move 46 spots to No. 9, putting him among the top 30 to advance to the Tour Championship.


Geoff Ogilvy (10-under 274) finished third, Luke Donald (8-under 276) was fourth and Webb Simpson (7-under, 277) rounded out the top five.


The top five players going to the Tour Championship are Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Rose, Donald and Matt Kuchar.


Rose, who came into Sunday with a four-stroke lead, finished with an even-par 71 for his first win of the year. A victory seemed like a sure thing when Rose built a five-stroke lead with 10 holes to play. But two-straight birdies for Senden around the turn and a Rose bogey on No. 15, and the cushy lead was down to one.


But then it happened.


Rose holed a chip from 35 feet for a birdie on No 17 to move back in front by two. The win is Rose’s third PGA TOUR win of his career. He has five top 10s this year. He started the year with eight top-25 finishes in his first nine starts.


Rose started the week at No. 34 in the FedExCup standings. He is 2-7 on the PGA TOUR when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead. A year ago, he lost a three-shot lead in final round at Hartford and hung on with a four-shot lead a week later in Philadelphia.


But Rose wasn’t the only winner on Sunday.


Ogilvy started the week ranked No. 69 but moved to No. 24 after finishing third. And Bo Van Pelt grabbed the 30th and final spot over Martin Laird, who fell 30 points short of making the TOUR Championship despite a birdie on No. 18.


The BMW Championship was the last event for the top 10 players to qualify for the Presidents Cup.


The U.S. team is Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Johnson, Simpson, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, David Toms, Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk.


Nothing but the order changed for the International team, which includes Jason Day, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, K.J. Choi, Kyung-tae Kim, Retief Goosen, Ogilvy, Ernie Els, Y.E. Yang and Ryo Ishikawa.


Stray Shots


Mark Wilson started the third round tied for the lead, but shot a 77 that put him out of contention. He finished 284 and T22 … Defending BMW champion Johnson finished T65 … Kuchar, who won the 1997 U.S. Amateur Championship at Cog Hill, finished T22 … Furyk became the fourth straight defending champion not to qualify for the season-ending event, joining Tiger Woods in 2008 and 2010 and Vijay Singh in 2009 in failing to defend their crowns. Furyk shot a 5-over 76 Sunday to finish at even par and out of the top 30. He did qualify for his seventh straight Presidents Cup … Camilo Villegas made nine birdies and had the best round of the day at 66, but finished No. 33 in the FedExCup … Charl Schwartzel fell out of the top 30 (No. 27) after shooting a 73 in the first round. He finished 3-over 287 to end up at No. 32 … Kyle Stanley started the week at No. 30 but finished even par to end up at No. 34 … Jason Dufner entered the BMW ranked No. 29 but a 6-under 278 moved him up to No. 22 … Ernie Els came to Cog Hill ranked No. 68 and needed to finish third or better to make the field for the TOUR Championship for the fifth straight year. But a T42 left him at No. 67 … Phil Mickelson started his tournament by missing three birdie putts inside 8 feet -- two of them from inside 4 feet -- and then had four bogeys on his back nine for a 73 that put him 14 shots behind. He ended the weekend at T56 and stands at No. 14 in the FedExCup … Keegan Bradley is the fourth rookie to reach the TOUR Championship since the FedExCup started. Brandt Snedeker (2007), Andres Romero (2008), and Marc Leishman (2009) were the other three … Other golfers headed home after the BMW Championship include Rory Sabbatini, who dropped from No. 26 to No. 35, Ryan Moore, Jerry Kelly, Brian Davis and Zach Johnson.



Paul Anthony Arco is a freelance writer and contributor to He is host of The Golf Show!, which airs Saturday mornings on WNTA 1330 AM ( in Rockford, Ill. Paul can be reached at
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