(Reuters) - Justin Rose used a blistering start to cruise to his second win of the PGA Tour season with a three-shot victory at the Fort Worth Invitational in Texas on Sunday.
The Englishman, who began the day with a four-stroke lead, fired six front-nine birdies en route to a six-under-par 64 at Colonial Country Club that left him one shot off the tournament record score of 21-under 259 set by Zach Johnson in 2010.
With the victory, Rose tied Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War Two, with nine.
“I am delighted the way I played this week,” said Rose, who played the course for the first time in eight years. “I haven’t played this venue in a while but to win on a golf course like Colonial I couldn’t be more proud.”
Olympic champion Rose had a chance to equal Johnson’s record score but failed to convert his 23-foot par attempt at the last, where he carded his second bogey of the day.
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, who started the final round in a share of second place with Argentine Emiliano Grillo (64), finished alone in the runner-up spot after going one better than playing competitor Rose with a seven-under 63.
Grillo birdied two of the final three holes to finish in third place, four shots behind Rose while sizzling American Kevin Na finished a further two shots back in fourth place after he set a course record with a bogey-free, nine-under 61.
Rose, whose first win this season came at last October’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, got off to a fast start with consecutive birdies to open his round before settling for a bogey at the par-four third where he failed to convert an 11-foot birdie putt.
But that did little to take the wind from the former U.S. Open champion’s sails as he birdied four of the final five holes on the front nine before adding another pair at the 11th and 15th holes.
Despite the solid outing, Rose said he still felt he had work to do before next month’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, where he will seek his second career major.
“This week was a big step in the right direction, taking the range game to the golf course,” said Rose. “There is always a little bit of a lag effect, you know you see your progress on the range long before you see it on the golf course.
“This week it came for me but there is still more work to be done.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Clare Fallon