WGC win opens many doors

Justin Rose

It was a huge thrill to win my first World Golf Championship event and continue the trend of winning bigger and bigger tournaments.

I knew I was going into the week playing well and I had some valuable experience under my belt from being in contention the previous week at the Honda Classic.

It was great to play well on Friday where I shot 64 and jumped into contention. My playing partner Bubba Watson also went low, shooting a 62. We were a combined -18 on the day which was pretty special.

The weekend was interesting and a little different to my last couple of wins. Although I was right in contention, I was always just one or two shots behind and flying slightly under the radar.

From that perspective it made my approach to the final round fairly pressure free. Even though I was three behind Bubba, it wasn't as if there were other players ahead of me which means that if the leader stumbles at all, you're right in the hunt.

My strategy to the final round was to go out and not chase pins and make unnecessary mistakes. Instead, I just kept playing steady and gave my putter a chance to heat up.

I was aware that Bubba got off to a shaky start and that I was in with a real chance as I started strongly being two -2 through four From that point I just kept my head down, didn't pay too much attention to the leader board and played as hard as I could.

Through the crowd I sensed I'd hit the front halfway through the back nine. It was now a matter of closing it out.

The 18th at Doral is probably the sternest of tests we face on the tour. I knew that a five was probably going to be good enough, and it's amazing how hard it can be to play for bogey sometimes.

I got the job done and posted a closing 70 for a -16 total and gave Bubba a target to chase. He made me sweat it out after hitting an incredible four iron to within eight feet on the 18th.

I headed to the range to stay loose anticipating a play-off. It is a strange feeling to have the title resting upon someone else missing or making a putt. Fortunately for me, Bubba's putt slid by and I could enjoy the win.

This win has really given me some great opportunities. Being a World Golf Event it counts on both the US PGA Tour and the European Tour. I can now realistically focus on challenging for both the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai.

The win also bumped me up to number seven in the world ranking, and just as excitingly, I made a bunch of Ryder Cup points which will go a long way to helping me make the team in September which is a huge goal of mine.

All in all, a fun week, and an exciting start to the year. I have kept the celebrations to a minimum as I have two more weeks of golf ahead of me before enjoying a break before Augusta.