SAN DIEGO • To be the best, you have to beat the best.
That was what Justin Rose did over four days to win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, protecting his status as the world's top-ranked golfer.
After a shaky start on Sunday that included three bogeys over his first five holes, he recovered to shoot a three-under 69, beating Adam Scott by two shots.
He conquered a field that featured 12 of the top-20 players to record his 10th PGA Tour victory, passing Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by a player from England in the modern era.
The 38-year-old finished with a 72-hole total of 21-under 267, a tournament record since the South Course was redesigned in 2003 and one shot off the overall record of 22 under shared by Tiger Woods (1999) and George Burns (1987).
Australian Scott closed out with a 68, finishing at 19 under, while Hideki Matsuyama of Japan (67) and American Talor Gooch (68) were tied for third at 16 under.
"Twenty-one under par at Torrey Pines is great golf," Rose said, dedicating the win to his caddie, Mark Fulcher, who is hospitalised but doing well after having heart surgery last week. "This one's for him."
Scott claimed his closing surge was "too late" because Rose had built a four-shot lead and birdied two of the final four holes himself.
He added: "Justin performed like the No. 1 player should today. When he was shaky, he bounced back nicely. He showed why he's the No. 1 player in the world."
Although Rose's three-shot lead at the start of the day was trimmed to one after he made bogeys on Nos. 1, 4 and 5, he played bogey-free the rest of the day while making five more birdies.
"I never lost the lead, so I had to stay patient," he said. "I scratched a line on my scorecard after the sixth hole and said, 'We build a round from this point on'."
In his first event of the season, Woods was never a factor. His week-long putting woes continued on his first nine, but rediscovered his stroke with five birdies over his final eight holes to shoot 67, finishing in a tie for 20th at 10 under.
He shot all four rounds under par at Torrey Pines for the first time since 2008, and it was his first sub-70 round here since 2013, the year of his most recent of seven titles in the event.
"It was nice to shake off some rust," the former world No. 1 said.
"The whole week was good, very positive. I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be but, each and every day, it got a little better.
"I was hitting my putts on my lines, I just wasn't reading them right. I burned a lot of lips and made my share today, which was nice."
Woods' next event will be the Feb 14-17 Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, where his charitable foundation is the primary beneficiary.