In the final pairing Sunday at Colonial, Brooks Koepka shot a blistering eight-under 63 and still didn't put much pressure on the eventual champion. That's because his partner in that final group, Justin Rose, countered Koepka with a 64 to finish at 20-under and win the Fort Worth Invitational by three shots.
A bogey at the last saw Rose miss equaling the tournament scoring record by a single stroke, but Rose will savor the victory nonetheless. En route to his second win of the wraparound season—he won the WGC-HSBC Champions in October—Rose took Colonial Country Club to its knees with a ball striking clinic.
Rose has played very consistently in 2018—he hasn't missed a cut since the PGA Championship last August—but hadn't been able to convert that solid play into a victory in the calednar year. But Rose got the job done on Sunday, and the win all but assures that he will be on the European Ryder Cup team when that tournament kicks off in France in September.
The 37-year-old Englishman, who came into the week ranked fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking, shot a 30 on the front nine to maintain his multi-shot advantage over Koepka and played solidly on the back to secure his ninth PGA Tour win. With the victory, Rose moves up from 11th to second in the FedEx Cup points standings.
"To win on a golf course like Colonial, I couldn't be more proud," Rose told CBS' Peter Kostis after the round. "It's such a special golf course. I've loved playing here this week."
Koepka was making just his fourth start since a 15-week absence for a wrist injury, and the long-hitting American did his best to put pressure on Rose from the onset. He birdied the first two holes, but in a sign of what was to come, Rose also managed to birdie those holes and simply did not let Koepka get any closer than four behind for the entire day.
Still, it's an encouraging week for Koepka, and the reigning U.S. Open champion has rounded into form just in time for his title defense at Shinnecock Hills in three weeks' time. His game looked to have turned a corner when he shot a course-record tying 63 at TPC Sawgrass in the Players Championship, and this week was further evidence that he has returned to the game's elite ranks quite quickly after the injury.
Argentinian Emiliano Grillo finished third at 14-under, while Kevin Na shot a course-record tying 61 to finish solo fourth at 13-under. It was Na's second remarkably low round of the week, as he fired a 62 on Thursday but shot a combined three-over on Friday and Saturday to take himself out of contention.
Hometown favorite Jordan Spieth, who had three-straight top-2 finishes at Colonial coming into this year's event, shot a two-under 70 to finish at five-under for the week in a tie for 32nd.
The next stop on the PGA Tour is the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield, an event hosted by Jack Nicklaus. The likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are all scheduled to tee it up in Ohio next week.