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Golf: Rose wins National for first title since US Open

Britain's Justin Rose won for the first time since capturing last year's US Open, parring the first playoff hole to defeat Shawn Stefani and capture the $6.5 million US PGA National.

BETHESDA: Britain's Justin Rose won for the first time since capturing last year's US Open, parring the first playoff hole to defeat Shawn Stefani and capture the $6.5 million US PGA National.

The 33-year-old Englishman and American Stefani, seeking his first PGA triumph, finished 72 holes level atop the leaderboard on four-under par 280 after both fired one-under 70s on Sunday.

Rose hit into the trees and the water at the last regulation hole but sank a 15-foot bogey putt to stay tied for the lead, then watched Stefani find the same watery fate at 18 on the first playoff hole.

A Congressional Country Club layout that hosted three US Opens, most recently when Rory McIlroy won in soggy conditions in 2011, played hard and fast and as formidable as many majors in the final round.

"I think Congressional wanted its reputation back," Rose said. "It tested all of us getting to four-under par to win this tournament."

In the playoff, Stefani pulled his tee shot left into trees while Rose smacked his in the fairway.

Stefani took relief from a temporary immovable obstruction, a grandstand, and moved the ball back inside the trees, but then sent his approach into the same water left of the green that Rose had found earlier.

With a second chance, Rose put his approach on the green and two-putted for par and the victory.

Rose took a $1.1 million winner's prize and will take a week off before playing the Scottish Open as his final warm-up for the 143rd British Open at Royal Liverpool starting July 17.

Rose won his first major title last year at Merion and on Sunday won his sixth US title, including the 2010 National when it was played at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia.

Congressional rewarded Rose's consistency and swatted aside third-round leader Patrick Reed, who shot 77 and lost for the first time when leading after 54 holes.

Reed, who was seeking his fourth PGA title in 10 months, led by two strokes when the day began and the 23-year-old American went on a roller coaster run that still saw him two ahead to open the back nine.

Rose, meanwhile, took a bogey at the third, but answered with birdies at the par-5 sixth and ninth holes.

A day after a double-bogey disaster at 11, Rose dropped his approach to five feet and made the birdie putt to pull within one of the leader.

Reed plunked his tee shot into the water at the tricky par-3 10th, put his third into greenside rough, chipped to 11 feet and made the double bogey putt to fall only one behind new leader Rose.

When Reed found the water again and made a double bogey on 11 as well, Reed had only Stefani and Brendan Steele within a shot.

A double bogey at 18 ended Steele's hopes and Rose sank a tense nine-foot par putt at 17 but Stefani answered by having a 14-foot birdie putt at 16 drop in the side of the hole to match Rose atop the leaderboard.

Rose sent his tee shot at 18 left into the trees and blasted his second shot low through a gap only to see it roll into water left of the green.

Stefani, meanwhile, chipped 10 feet past the cup on 17 and lipped out the par putt, his bogey leaving Rose in front.

Rose blasted his fourth shot 15 feet past the cup but made the clutch comeback bogey putt that earned a playoff spot.

Stefani and Steele joined fellow Americans Ben Martin and Charley Hoffman in earning invitations to the British Open based on their top-five finishes.

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