Rose Colored Glasses

July 6, 2010 -

Three weeks ago, Justin Rose had a breakthrough maiden victory at The Memorial tournament in Ohio. It was a breakthrough because at long last, the “can’t miss”, 29 year old Englishman, didn’t. Miss that is.

Rose has been on golf’s stage for almost 12 years now since he dazzled everyone as a 17 year old amateur at the British Open.

Following that performance, Rose turned pro, and almost immediately lost his game. For the next two years he missed the cut in each event that he played in and seemed destined to become a member of the “whatever happened to?” group that litters golf’s history.

Golf can be such a fickle pursuit. It will grant you, your every wish, and then take those wishes away.

In his early 20’s, Rose would slowly find his game again and become a multiple winner on the European Tour. 2002 saw Rose win three events and the ship had been firmly righted. In the fall of that year, Rose’s father, Ken, passed away. Ken had been Justin’s greatest friend and supporter and his sudden death left his son, devastated.

Life. The higher the heights, the harder the fall.

In 2007, Rose was the leading money winner on the European Tour and won the “Order of Merit”. The following year, Rose decided to play the PGA Tour full time and most everyone thought that he would win immediately and often.

He didn’t.

Rose became a player that could play the first 3 rounds of a tournament very well, only to falter on Sundays. There is a word that goes with that and no-one wants to say it or hear it, but you know what it is.

For three years, Rose would have several Top 10 finishes but that first victory proved elusive. The longer that he went without winning, the more the pressure mounted…..to win.

Golf can be a brutal taskmaster. It will test every ounce of your patience and perseverance.

Finally, Rose broke through at The Memorial in June and it was generally agreed that it would now be all systems go, for the affable young Englishman.

Two weeks later, Rose took a four shot lead into the final round of the Traveler’s Championship. Rose played a very steady front 9 on Sunday and increased his lead to 5 shots. Surely he would now coast to back-to-back wins. I mean, Rose had learned to win and this was now a formality, right?

Wrong.

In a painful to watch, 2 hours, Rose would completely disintegrate and end up dropping all the way to a tie for ninth.

Just when you think you have it all figured out…..

This last weekend at the AT & T National Championship at storied, Aronomink Golf Club in Pennsylvania, Rose once again played magnificent golf for the first 3 rounds and was the over-night leader heading into Sunday’s round.

Rose admitted in an interview that he was haunted by his capitulation the week before at The Traveler’s. In admitting to those thoughts, surely he would be destined to repeat them, wouldn’t he?

No.

Playing one of the most demanding golf courses on Tour, Rose played a superb front 9 on Sunday, shooting a 2-under par, 33. He then began his back 9, with back to back bogeys. And the wheels appeared ready to spin right off their axels.

But they didn’t.

Rose was flawless in his last seven holes. He played perfect, intelligent and brave golf on a golf course that punishes even the smallest mistake. Rose’s victory now gives him two PGA Tour wins in his last three starts. Pretty impressive for someone that “couldn’t win”.

And once again this grand pursuit correlates Life in so many ways. Take nothing for granted. Remember all the old axioms. Live each day as if it were your last. Savor each beautiful sacred moment ‘cause we know not when they come again, and never let adversity overcome your will.

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