DORAL, Fla. — On a day of endless drama at Doral, Justin Rose won his first World Golf Championship standing on the practice range.
Rose had to make up a three-shot deficit against Bubba Watson, and then a two-shot deficit against Keegan Bradley. Rose was steady down the stretch Sunday, even with a bogey from the bunker on the 18th hole, and closed with a 2-under 70 to win the Cadillac Championship.
Watson, as always, made it interesting. He hit a bullet of a 4-iron out of the palm trees to just inside 10 feet for a chance to force a playoff. His birdie putt missed on the low side, ending a wild day even by his standards. He closed with a 74.
If that wasn’t enough, Tiger Woods muddied his Masters future when he left after 11 holes with soreness in his left Achilles tendon, wincing badly on his final shot — a 321-yard drive down the middle of the 12th fairway. Woods said he would have it evaluated to determine the scope of the injury.
NBC Sports showed images of Woods behind the wheel in a black sedan as he drove away from Doral. It returned to golf just as Rory McIlroy, who started the final round eight shots behind, holed a bunker shot for eagle on the 12th hole. McIlroy pulled within one shot of the lead with a birdie on the 16th hole, but he closed with a bogey and a 67 to finish alone in third at 14 under.
Through it all, Rose worked his way to the top of the leaderboard with a nifty up-and-down behind the green on the par-5 10th, and he seized control of the tournament with a shot into 5 feet for birdie on the 14th.
Rose finished on 16-under 272 for his 10th victory worldwide, moving him back into the top 10 of a world ranking that remains loaded with Europeans.