Long after the morning groups had started the first round of the PGA Championship, and as the afternoon threesomes prepared for play, the 25-year-old Rose desperately hoped for a spot in the 156-player field.
``It's not good at this late stage,'' Rose said as he moved to the putting green, closer to the first tee. ``I don't really expect to get in.''
The call never came, and ultimately, there was no room for the eighth alternate in the championship.
For the second time in two majors, Rose was left on the waiting list.
``I was in the same situation at the British Open, second reserve,'' he said. ``It's been a bit of a frustrating year. I feel like I'm playing well enough to turn it around.
``On to Reno.''
The PGA Championship has been kind to at least one late substitute. In 1991 at Crooked Stick, John Daly got into the event as the ninth alternate when Nick Price withdrew and three alternates ahead of him declined. Without playing a practice round, Daly went on to win the championship.
Rose promised to shrug off any lingering disappointment over not making the PGA field and continue to work on a game that is seemingly rounding into shape.
Two of his six top-25 finishes have come in the last two weeks, a tie for 22nd at the Buick Open and a tie for 23rd at the International.
But, he would have loved a chance to put his game to the test at Baltusrol.
``I'm playing good enough to be a contender in this event,'' Rose said.
After all, he first burst onto the international golf scene with a fourth-place finish at the 1998 British Open - as an amateur. He has yet to win the PGA Tour, but won twice on the European Tour in 2002, the same year he finished tied for 23rd at the PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
After arriving at the course at 6:30 a.m. Thursday and lingering until getting the word that there were no more withdrawals, Rose has learned to dislike the role of an alternate.
``I'm going to try to make sure this doesn't happen next year,'' he said.
DALY AT 17
The fans wanted a power show, but the best John Daly could provide was a scrambling par on the 650-yard, par-5 17th.
Daly, who was the only player to reach the green in two shots at the 1993 U.S. Open at Baltusrol, pushed his drive into the rough, and hit his second shot safely onto the fairway. He chipped on and made a two-putt par.
NO FREE DROP
Colin Montgomerie's sore hand withstood quite a workout in the opening round of the PGA Championship.
Monty, who was forced to pull out of a tournament last week because of the injury, didn't test his injured hand during a practice round at Baltusrol, choosing instead to hit only from the fairway.
But, he got a chance to test it early in Thursday's opening round, hitting his second shot out of short rough at No. 11, his second hole.
He reported no pain after an opening 7-over 77, and instead blamed his lack of practice for his struggles.
``I just didn't have any rhythm today,'' he said before leaving the course.
Montgomerie got into red numbers with an 8-foot birdie putt at the 14th, but his round deteriorated quickly.
He tested his hand again at the 15th, after his drive settled on a downslope behind a bunker. The best the Scotsman could do was punch out, with the ball landing in a bunker fronting the green. He went on to make bogey.
He closed out his first nine with double bogeys at the 16th and 18th and had four bogeys on his last nine, hitting just seven of 14 fairways in his round.
AN IRWIN MOMENT
Phil Mickelson opened the PGA Championship to a rousing ovation from the New York/New Jersey crowd at Baltusrol, and was showered by cheers and shouts throughout the opening round.
At the sixth hole, Mickelson pulled his drive way left onto another fairway and had to hit over trees to reach the green.
After getting on, the 2004 Masters champion had to make his way through the gallery, and it wasn't long before he was swallowed up by the crowd. Along the way, he traded high-fives with the fans and, when he finally got inside the rope near the green, traded fist taps with the crowd and broke into a trot, similar to Hale Irwin at the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah.
Mickelson, wearing a hat instead of a visor after claiming his head got sunburned last week at the International, went on to post a 67 and finished tie for the first-round lead.
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell had three birdies and six bogeys, struggling to an opening 4-over 74. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and just eight of 18 greens in regulation, needing 29 putts in his round. ``Off the tee wasn't too good today. The weather was obviously baking those greens, making them very dry and making it a different golf course that the ones in practice rounds.'' ... Chris DiMarco, who lost to Vijay Singh in a playoff last year at Whistling Straits, opened with a 5-over 75.