It was a case of the cream rising to the top in Hong Kong on Sunday, where England’s Justin Rose claimed his first European Tour title of the year with a typically classy performance.
In the end the pressure got to Lucas Bjerregard, and former US Open winner Rose demonstrated why he was the highest ranked player in the field by holding his nerve and beating the Dane by one shot.
Rose will have been particularly pleased to win the week after dropping out of contention in California with three bogeys in his last six holes. It’s always nice to clear these things up quickly.
I had wondered at the wisdom of the world No6 jetting straight to Fanling from the United States for back-to-back tournaments at the end of a gruelling season.
Rose showed, however, that at 35 he is still at the peak of his jet-lag recovery powers.
Stars also play fewer events now compared to when I was on the tour as there are so many huge tournaments.
So far it has been a good, solid year for the Hampshire man – not his best, that was his 2013 Major-winning season, but a satisfactory one. You aren’t disappointed when you win titles on both sides of the Atlantic.
He has found himself left in the shade a little by Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and, to some extent, Rory McIlroy, though. Like all great players, that will only inspire him to push harder.
Victory in Hong Kong has lifted Rose to fourth in the Race To Dubai, and it would be no surprise to see him scoop the top prize next month.
It would be a fantastic achievement for someone playing the majority of their golf on the PGA Tour, and would would elevate this season from good to great.
One man who’d have been even happier than Rose on Sunday is his compatriot Matt Ford, who secured his European Tour card at the last opportunity by finishing tied for seventh.
There was heartbreak for another Englishman, Ben Evans, whose flurry of final-day birdies appeared to have left him 111th in the Race To Dubai standings – one place short of earning his card.
Evans has since been handed a reprieve, however, after American Brooks Koepka withdrew from the Race To Dubai.
Koepka plans to play mainly in the US next year, understandably, but he could easily have held onto the place he was entitled to and just played five or six events.
Instead his fantastic gesture will have changed Evans’s life.