Rose wins in Hong Kong as Fitzpatrick backs up British Masters victory with third-place showing

Justin Rose with the trophy after winning the Hong Kong Open (Picture: Vincent Yu?AP).
Justin Rose with the trophy after winning the Hong Kong Open (Picture: Vincent Yu?AP).
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Justin Rose was delighted to convert his second winning opportunity in seven days by claiming his eighth European Tour title in the UBS Hong Kong Open in Fanling.

Rose carded a final round of 68 in Fanling to finish 17 under par, one shot clear of Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard.

Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick shot a final round 69 to finish six shots off the lead in a tie for third place alongside Soomin Lee, Patrick Reed and Jason Scrivener on 269.

British Masters champion Fitzpatrick went out in two under on the final day, but had three bogeys in his last four holes – punctuated by a birdie at 17 – to win €82,636

“I’m very happy to get the job done,” said Rose, who was the pre-tournament favourite. “I had a chance to win in Napa last week (at the Frys.com Open). I was tied for the lead going down the 10th hole and let that one flitter away a little bit. I wanted to hang on to this one.

“Lucas played incredible golf. When you separate yourself from the field like we did, it’s probably a tough one for him to lose. But he didn’t lose it; just both of us played incredibly well.”

Bjerregaard and Rose went into the final round tied for the lead and, with a four-stroke advantage over the chasing pack, were set for a head-to-head battle for the second day running.

Rose edged in front with a birdie on the second, but Bjerregaard immediately hit back with birdies at the next two holes to move into a lead which he held until three-putting the eighth.

Bjerregaard also looked in trouble on the ninth after his tee shot on the long par four left him blocked out by the trees, but the 24-year-old hooked a brilliant approach to 10 feet and holed for an unlikely birdie.

With former US Open champion Rose surprisingly three-putting from 25 feet, Bjerregaard was two shots ahead with nine holes to play.

The last time Bjerregaard was in the final group in the fourth round was in December’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, when he slumped to a closing 89 – including a back nine of 50 – to slump from second to 49th.

This time there would be no such collapse, but Bjerregaard was left to rue a back nine of 37.

Rose had birdied the 10th and 13th and after seeing his birdie attempt on the 14th lip out and leaving another on the 15th an inch short, holed from 12 feet on the 16th to claim a decisive two-shot lead with two holes to play.

The 35-year-old could afford to three-putt the 18th for only his third bogey of the week.