Justin Rose

How I coped with final day nerves

Justin Rose

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To win a FedEx Cup play-off event, with all the benefits that go with, must rank as probably the most significant victory of my career.

I'm not sure if it is the most special victory I've had, because my first win on the PGA Tour at the Memorial tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus will always be very special, but it is definitely up there.

I knew I was going into the final round with a four shot lead, but even so, I slept pretty well on Saturday night.

My wife and I watched the movie Larry Crowne at the hotel and I was asleep by 10.30.

I woke up a little earlier than usual at around 6.15am. My toddler Leo usually acts as the alarm clock at around 7am.

My preparation was a little different on Sunday just because it was my latest tee time of the week.

I tried to just slow up the morning and take my time over breakfast etc. That is where having kids is great. They really distract you of thinking about golf until necessary.

I saw my physio for a 30 minute warm up session too as it was pretty cold and miserable outside.

Playing with a big lead is a little different to regular round.

A big lead is only a big lead if you go out and play well. If you stumble just a little, the whole field is back in it.

My mindset was to go out just as I did with the lead in rounds two and three and play good positive golf.

I did that and opened up a five shot lead on the front nine but then struggled with the conditions as it started to rain heavily.

I was aware of the situation all day as my nearest challenger was John Senden with whom I was paired. He played a great bogey free 69 and put the pressure on all day.

However, I generally felt in control all day and I made some great par saves on the back nine.

I'll admit though when I hit a wild drive into the bushes on the par five, 15th, things got a little hairy.

From that point on it was game on and time to just believe in yourself and make something happen to win the tournament.

I hit an aggressive putt at 16 as I knew it probably was going to take a birdie to finish off the job.

That birdie came at 17 with a lovely little chip in! That was a moment I knew that the tournament was going to mine.

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