Rose hopes for Masters reward after Hoffman's play-off win

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The Independent Online

Justin Rose's wait for a first win in America goes on, after his birdie attempt slipped by the 90th and final hole at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and allowed the home contender, Charley Hoffman, to break his tour duck after a play-off against his compatriot John Rollins.

Rose, who was three ahead early on the last day in California, still shared top spot with one to play. But while the 26-year-old - winner of the Australian Masters in his last start of 2006 - could only par the18th, Hoffman made eagle, and Rollins had a birdie to force the play-off.

Rose, who managed only a four-over 76 in difficult conditions, had to settle for third place, and his 17th top-10 finish on the US Tour. Jeff Quinney and Heath Slocum shared fourth.Rose found his round a struggle in the wind, saying: "I think the wind was playing us today. I think it was a bit of a shame, really, because it was survival more than anything. I don't think there was much great golf being played out there."

Disappointing though it was, Rose's third place could have earned him a return to the Masters in April. By finishing last season as the world No 51 Rose missed out on Augusta by 0.01 points to the Welshman Bradley Dredge, but anyone in the top 50 the week before the tournament will receive a call-up and the 26-year-old's third-place finish has moved him up from 51st in the world to 36th.