April 26 (Reuters) - Justin Rose said he had benefited from the ultra-positive approach of National Basketball Association point guard Stephen Curry on the way to victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday.
Englishman Rose clinched his seventh PGA Tour title by one shot with a closing six-under-par 66 at the TPC Louisiana after he and his caddie, Mark ‘Fooch’ Fulcher, had been inspired earlier in the week by Curry’s brilliant three-point shooting for the Golden State Warriors.
“Yesterday, I felt like I had gone cold in my round,” world number nine Rose told CBS Sports after posting a winning total of 22-under 266 in the weather-disrupted event on the outskirts of New Orleans.
”I started off hot, went cold and Fooch says, ‘Remember Steph Curry. He went cold but he kept wanting the ball, he kept shooting threes and he kept believing in himself.’
“So that was our mentality and as soon as Fooch said that, I had about a 12-footer and I just kept visualising it going in, made it and kind of righted the ship.”
Rose and Fulcher had watched Curry hit a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation against the Pelicans in New Orleans on Thursday before he and the Warriors completed a thrilling 123-119 comeback victory in their playoff series.
Curry, who has one of the purest shooting strokes in the NBA, overcame a few lean spells with his positive approach to lead all scorers with 40 points.
”We just kind of used that analogy,“ said Rose, who broke clear of a congested leaderboard with a birdie-birdie finish at the TPC Louisiana to seal victory. ”That’s what great athletes that you look up to do in the big moments.
“They want the ball and they make big shots and big putts and that’s luckily what I managed to inspire in myself today to do. Sometimes you can really learn from athletes in other sports.”
Like Rose, Curry enjoyed a hugely successful weekend in New Orleans, scoring a game-high 39 points on Saturday as he led the Warriors to a 109-98 win against the Pelicans and a 4-0 sweep in their first-round playoff series. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)