Justin Rose stumbles down the stretch

Jonathan Wall

Justin Rose's lead going into Sunday's final may have only been one shot, but with a host of players behind him that had never won a PGA Tour event, and the way he was swinging the club, it seemed like the Englishman's lead was at least two or three shots.

Rose had been a fairways and greens machine all week, capping off an incredible stretch of three rounds by hitting 10 of 13 fairways and 16 of 18 greens on Saturday. There wasn't anyone in the field that could beat Rose.

Except Rose himself. And that's exactly what happened in the final round, as Rose seemingly lost his swing, bogeying four straight holes to take himself out of contention.

With the Masters only two weeks away, it was the type of performance he didn't want to have. We've come to expect more from Rose recently, after he won at Muirfield and Aronimink last season, two of the more difficult courses on the tour schedule.

After struggling to break through on the PGA Tour, it seemed like Rose had finally turned the corner. He was playing with a confidence that had been missing from his game for some time. But after Sunday's collapse, you had to wonder if the final round was a mere aberration, or if we should be genuinely concerned about Rose closing out tournaments again.

Quite honestly, I think his collapse was the former. He's won on tour before, so we know he's got what it takes to seal the deal. If anything, I think he'll learn from his final round struggles and come out a better player going into the Masters. He's too good of a player not to take something positive out of this experience and use it in the weeks ahead.