At last month's Wyndham Championship, Justin Rose bogeyed the 72nd hole, which dropped him one spot out of the FedExCup playoffs for the first time in his career.
Now, this week at the BMW PGA Championship in Rose's native homeland, the 41-year-old Englishman is at risk of missing his first Ryder Cup since 2010 and needs a win at Wentworth to automatically qualify for the competition later this month in Whistling Straights.
However, a solid four days at Wentworth – where Rose has two runner-up finishes – can still notch him one of European captain Padraig Harrington's three captain's picks, and Rose, a five-time Ryder Cupper, got off on the right foot shooting an opening 67.
"Yeah, [Round 1] was better than decent," said Rose, who at 5 under is three shots off Kiradech Aphibarnrat's and Christiaan Bezuidenhout's lead. "That's a good score today, to be honest with you. This golf course has a bit of teeth."
The first three holes at Wentworth can bite but despite Rose saying the conditions this morning were rough, those holes didn't chew him up early. He went par-birdie-par en route to placing T-4 on Day 1.
"Point being, didn't feel like you rolled out of bed feeling like you played great golf," he said. "You had to work for your score today. I felt like the start of this golf course today, [holes] one, two, three, were playing pretty tough."
On Wednesday, the former world No. 1 and 2013 U.S. Open winner said he's not putting any extra pressure on himself and it's "win or bust" this week. Rose remembers in 2010 when he was left off Team Europe despite winning the Memorial and the AT&T National at Aronimink that year, so he doesn't want his status for the Ryder Cup up in the air once again.
But if he's not the one holding the trophy Sunday in Virginia Water, England, he has a backup plan.
"At that point, you hope that your record speaks for yourself and your experience in the [Ryder Cup] and the fact that you've been a valuable team member in the past and that's plan B," Rose said Wednesday.
After Rose's opening round, both plans look like they have a chance to work out. But for the next three days, this year's Payne Stewart Award winner will stick to his narrow mindset so his 2010 Ryder Cup letdown doesn't repeat itself.
"Yeah, I haven't really paid tons of attention in terms of what I have to do, I've just been trying to focus on my game and my form," Rose said. "That's what I'm focusing on. I can appreciate how many scenarios are still in play this week, but one of them being me winning a golf tournament and making the team outright.
"So this gives me the option to focus on something positive for the remainder of the week."