Rose began the final round at Muirfield Village four shots adrift, but three straight birdies before the turn saw him draw level. When Fowler found the water at the par-3 12th, Rose took the lead and he didn't relinquish it.
Since winning the European Tour Order of Merit in 2007 and climbing into the World's top 10, the Englishman's career had gone a little quiet. But this first PGA Tour victory takes him back into the limelight and to 33rd on the Official World Golf Ranking.
"I've had a few close calls over time, and you start to sometimes wonder why you can't get it done," Rose said. "To win here at the Memorial, at Jack's tournament, I couldn't think of a better place to win my first tournament."
21-year-old Fowler had led the event for 48 straight holes until dunking it in the water on the 12th.
"I just made a bad swing and paid for it," he said.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on his first Tour victory, Fowler can console himself with the fact he has climbed to 13th on the US Ryder Cup points list and is looking an ever more likely candidate for Corey Pavin's team.
Phil Mickelson played his standard, highly eventful, final round to finish in a tie for fifth while Tiger Woods ended in a tie for 19th. Mickelson, yet again, missed the opportunity to take the top spot on the Official World Ranking.
The Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley Muirfield Village Golf Club, Ohio June 3-6, purse $6,000,000, par 72
1 Justin Rose (Eng) 65 69 70 66 270 $1,080,000 2 Rickie Fowler (USA) 65 66 69 73 273 $648,000 T3 Ricky Barnes (USA) 70 71 62 73 276 $348,000 T3 Bo Van Pelt (USA) 70 69 68 69 276 $348,000 T5 Phil Mickelson (USA) 67 71 70 69 277 $219,000 T5 Ryan Moore (USA) 70 69 70 68 277 $219,000 T5 Tim Petrovic (USA) 69 66 68 74 277 $219,000 T8 Stewart Cink (USA) 70 67 71 70 278 $180,000 T8 Matt Kuchar (USA) 71 68 69 70 278 $180,000 T10 Jim Furyk (USA) 68 67 72 72 279 $156,000 T10 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 72 68 68 71 279 $156,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Tips on how to play better, latest equipment reviews, interviews with the biggest names and more.
Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
How To Choose A Putter: Are You Using The Right Flat-Stick?
Deciding how to choose a putter can be a daunting task, so we have broken down the decision-making process to help you get the right putter for your game.
By Neil Tappin Published
32 Best Golfer Nicknames
We look at out favourite nicknames and how some of golf's greatest players received their famous monikers
By Mark Townsend Published