Justin Rose won the Fort Worth Invitational with the kind of ball striking that Ben Hogan would have approved of. Played at Colonial C.C. (also known as Hogan’s Alley and where there is a room dedicated to Hogan), Rose hit just shy of two-thirds of his fairways and 79.16 percent of his greens in regulation in winning by three strokes over Brooks Koepka. Although starting the day with a four-shot lead, Rose played aggressively and carded eight birdies against two bogeys—one on the final hole that prevented Rose from matching Zach Johnson's tournament record of 21-under-par 259.
Rose’s driver is TaylorMade’s M3 440 with the two movable weight placed back and in the heel area, which promotes a slight draw bias. His iron set starts with the company’s hollow-construction P790 in the 4-iron, before moving to the muscleback blade “Rose Proto” P730 for the 5- through 9-irons.
Rose’s putting also was solid, especially on Sunday when he posted a 1.854 strokes gained/putting mark (.674/round for the week). Rose went back to his TaylorMade TP Ardmore 2 with a conventional putter shaft at Colonial. Rose had experimented with a new putter shaft from Breakthrough Golf Technology in his TP Ardmore 2 as well as in a TaylorMade Spider Tour at the Players Championship.
As for his TaylorMade TP5 ball, Rose uses only the number 99 on his golf balls, paying homage to his wife, Kate's, lucky number of 9. Rose decided to double up on the luck, hence the 99.
Rose is one of those really good players that probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He won WGC-HSBC Champions in the fall and now has nine PGA Tour wins, including one major (2013 U.S. Open at Merion) and a pair of WGC’s. He does so by possessing a solid all-around game in which he is highly proficient in most aspects of the game. On the season Rose came into the Fort Worth Invitational ranking 33rd in driving distance, 32nd in greens in regulation and 15th in strokes gained/putting. He’s also 26th in scrambling and T-12 in sand saves. At Colonial, Rose felt most of his game was working.
“I feel like I have seen everything from my game this week,” he said after the third round. “I've putted well in spells, I've hit fairways, I've hit my irons well, I've chipped well when I needed to. … So everything has been there or thereabouts for me, which gives my confidence. Quite often there is one aspect of the game that doesn't always feel good on the day and you need something to back it up. I feel like everything this week has been working at some point.”
As we said, Mr. Hogan surely would have approved.
What Justin Rose had in the bag at the Fort Worth Invitational
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Driver: TaylorMade M3 440 (Mitsubishi Tensei CK 70TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M4, 15 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M3, 190 degrees
Irons (4): TaylorMade P790; (5-9): TaylorMade P730; (PW): TaylorMade Milled Grind
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees); TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade TP Ardmore 2