LOS ANGELES – You won’t be seeing Justin Rose playing long toss with his caddie anymore.
Rose, making his first start of 2014 at the Northern Trust Open this week, took a long offseason to heal an ailing right shoulder he said Tuesday was first injured throwing a golf ball.
Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, said he first hurt himself playing with Tiger Woods in the third round of The Barclays last August. Rose said his caddie was well behind him, down a fairway, cleaning up a bunker, when he tossed his golf ball about 60-70 yards back to him.
“I really kind of hurt it at that time and managed to play my way through the rest of the round and the rest of the week,” Rose said. “Actually, I nearly won the tournament there, and it settled down quite quickly. But I think that was the moment where it started to flare up, from that point on the rest of the year.”
Rose said he was diagnosed with tendinitis in his right shoulder and simply rested and rehabbed it in a long offseason. He plans to play the Accenture Match Play Championship next week. In fact, he plans to play four PGA Tour events in a row to get ready for the Masters, though he said if he goes deep into Match Play, he may adjust that schedule.
“A lot of hard work went into me being here,” Rose said. “It was a race against time, to really get back playing, and get back strong. If I'm honest, I've only really been hitting balls, drivers, for about a week, 10 days now. So it really has been down to the wire.”
Rose made his last start at the Nedbank Challenge in December.
“I assumed a little bit of rest over Christmas would heal it, but it didn't really, and that's when I knew I needed to put a little bit of extra time into it, but it’s nothing serious, nothing torn, no surgery required, nothing like that,” Rose said. “So, that was the good news.”