Skip to main content

Rose Living in the Present

NORTON, Mass. -- No matter where he goes, no matter what he does, Justin Rose will always be reminded of his past ' from his glorious amateur ascent to his rapid professional plummet.
You probably already know the story, because its been told a thousand times. And if you do, then try and imagine just how many times Rose has been asked to answer Why?
Rose first swung a club at 11 months ' a plastic version placed in his hands by his father, Ken, who died of cancer last year.
He broke 70 for the first time at age 11; had a handicap of plus-3 at 14 and played on the Walker Cup at 17.
I was the youngest ever Walker Cup player and achieved a lot of great things as an amateur, he said. I kind of look back at my amateur career as a source of confidence more than that fourth-place finish.
That fourth-place finish was, of course, at the 1998 Open Championship, where he holed his final shot of the tournament, his final shot as an amateur, from the rough.
Brimming with confidence, and the exaltations still ringing in his ears, Rose turned professional the following day ' and promptly missed his first 22 cuts.
He gradually turned things around and finally cashed in with four worldwide wins in 2002.
How did he make the transformation?
Just pure hard work, he said after shooting 8-under 63 to take the first-round lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
I have always believed I have got the talent. I just went through a stage ' whether because I grew or whatever it might have been ' I suddenly started to get the club stuck behind me and you have to rely on your hands a lot more that way.
So I have been working ' even now I still work on trying to get the club in front of me so I have to rely less on my hands.
Rose, who learned the game from his father, has been coached by David Leadbetter since 98.
David is incredible; it can take five minutes sometimes, Rose said. If he just sees something, he manages to kind of tell you in a way that you can internalize it.
This is the 23-year-old Englishmans 10th PGA Tour event this season. He is playing for the third straight week, having missed the cut in the PGA Championship ' after missing the cut at the Open Championship ' and tying for 33rd at the WGC-NEC Invitational.
He took three weeks off between the seasons final two majors.
That proved to be disastrous, but it might be paying benefits now, he said. I kind of lost my enthusiasm a little bit around that time and I was a little bit frustrated with the game.
He was even more frustrated upon his return. He shot 77-78 at Oak Hill, and then opened in 72-73 at Firestone ' where there was no cut ' before posting a pair of 69s.
This weeks Friday-through-Monday schedule has proved beneficial.
Having played the last two events we played, I havent had a pro-am, so you get caught up in practicing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday before the Thursday start. So I feel maybe looking back that tired me out, he said.
I thought, this week I am going to take it a little bit easier. I came up and played on Wednesday ' took Thursday off, just came up and did two, three hours practice. Just trying to pace myself better.
And well it showed in Round 1. Rose was 4 under through seven holes ' and didnt have to make a putt outside of three feet. He had six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 18th to establish the TPC of Boston tournament record.
I love everything about it ' today, Rose joked about the course. He said the spacious fairways, in relation to the ones he tried to navigate the last two weeks, are a welcome sight.
The fairways are wider and it gives you the feeling you can go out there and play golf. You are not feeling like you are caged in and you are just trying to grind a score out, he explained.
Rose has played in the four majors, both World Golf Championship events, and The Players Championship. Hes also got invitations to play in this tournament, as well as The Honda Classic and the Bay Hill Invitational.
I enjoy playing in the States, he said. It would be nice to make enough money to have the opportunity to play here a little bit more should I want to next year.
A win this week, and hell have the opportunity to play whenever and wherever he desires over the next two-plus years.
And hell also give people something other than his past to talk about.
Related Links:
  • Deutsche Bank Championship Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - Deutsche Bank Championship