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MIAMI: Justin Rose won the Cadillac Championship yesterday, his two-under par 70 enough to overtake Bubba Watson, whose erratic effort added to the drama of a day that saw Tiger Woods withdraw injured.
Rose captured his 10th global title and his first in an elite World Golf Championships event.
His two-under round included four birdies and two bogeys and gave him a 16-under total of 272.
However, he had to wait out Watson, who started the day with a three-shot lead but was three-over on the front nine.
Watson still had a chance to force a playoff with a birdie at the 72nd hole and he fired out of the rough to inside 10 feet — but didn’t make the putt.
He finished with a 74 for 273, one shot in front of Rory McIlroy.
Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, playing his first tournament since gaining the word No. 1 ranking, started the day eight shots off the pace.
But he briefly pulled within one shot of the lead thanks to a round that included holing out for an eagle from a bunker at the 12th, finishing with a 67 for 274.
Meanwhile, Woods caused a sensation when he called it a day moments after hitting his tee shot on 12 because of tightness in his left Achilles tendon.
Woods injured the same tendon at the Masters last year and was sidelined long enough to miss both the US and British Opens.
Woods, who was three-over for the day when he headed for the car park, said via a statement later that he planned to have the injury evaluated later this week.
“It’s a shame because he looked like he was coming out this year, swinging it really well, playing good, getting himself into contention,” said McIlroy, who held off Woods to win the Honda Classic last week despite the 14-time major champion’s final-round 62.
McIlroy was among the many who immediately wondered if Woods’s participation in the Masters April 5-8 is in jeopardy.
“It’s probably just precautionary, but I really hope he’s healthy for the Masters, because obviously it would be a great week with him there. He can spark an interest in golf that no one else can,” he said.
Rose, who started the day sharing second with Keegan Bradley three strokes back, gained ground with two birdies in his first four holes as Watson failed to find a fairway on the front nine.
Back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12 gave him a chance to salvage the round, but a bogey at 13 set him back again.
Watson wasn’t the only player struggling. PGA Champion Bradley launched his round with an eagle and grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at the fifth.
He claimed a two-shot lead with a birdie at the seventh before bogeys at the next two par-fives, the eighth and 10th.
He surrendered four shots over the last four holes, capping his round with a double-bogey at 18. He posted a 75 to land in a tie for eighth on 277.
Rose, meanwhile, kept plugging away, picking up birdies at the 10th and 14th and even his bogey at the final hole proved insufficient opening for Watson. -- AFP