Like the rest of the players in the field at the BMW Championship, Justin Rose didn’t come close to hitting a shot on Sunday at Aronimink Golf Club. Yet his chances of winning the tournament appeared to improve anyway.
Try as US PGA Tour officials did to get any of the final round started, steady rain in the Philadelphia area ultimately resulted in a wash-out for the day. Slugger White, the tour’s vice-president of rules and competitions, said the plan is for the 69 golfers to come back on Monday morning, US time, in hopes of starting/completing the final round, despite forecasts that call for rain throughout much of the day.
According to White, tournament officials will only start play on Monday if they believe more than half the golfers could complete their rounds, which would then require under tour bylaws that the tournament finish as a 72-hole event (leading to a worst-case-scenario Tuesday finish). If the wet weather would not allow for this to happen, White said the tournament could be called as a 54-hole event on Monday night, with Rose, the leader at 17-under par through three rounds, declared the winner.
A victory for Rose would be his third PGA Tour title of the 2017-’18 season and put him second behind Bryson DeChambeau on the FedEx Cup points list, giving him the chance to claim the FedEx Cup title with a win at the Tour Championship in two weeks.
There is another reward, however, the 38-year-old Englishman would grab if he were to win the BMW, as he would pass Dustin Johnson and take the No.1 spot on the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.
On Saturday, Rose made a tap-in par putt on the 18th hole for a 64 that gave him a one-stroke advantage over Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy. Given the forecasted weather, Rose was asked afterwards if he knew it was to give him the outright lead with the potential for the tournament to be cut short of 72 holes.
“I tried not to. It was definitely in the back of your mind [though],” said Rose, who opened with rounds of 66 and 63. “You could start to feel the weather coming in and getting darker. Kind of had the feel there’s some big weather coming. I said to my caddie, ‘How about tomorrow?’ Just got to get through today and we’ll have a round of golf to play tomorrow in our minds.”
The most memorable win of Rose’s career came in the Philadelphia area in 2013 when he won the US Open at Merion. After his victory, Rose became a club member and has visited the place on occasion when his travels bring him through the area. Three years earlier, he was a winner at Aronimink when the Quicken Loans National was temporarily played there in 2010.
So what gives about the City of Brotherly Love? Rose doesn’t profess to any special karma.
“There’s no magic,” Rose said. “Probably more coincidence than anything. I like traditional golf courses and this style of course. Reminds me of how I grew up playing, heathland and parkland golf, a mixture of that. Absolutely.”
That said, if he were to grab his 10th career US Tour win this week, it would mean that three have come in the area.