Justin Rose making a habit of recovering from slow starts

Englishman just three shots behind leader Justin Rose, but it could have been a lt worse for him at the DP World Tour Championship.
Justin Rose gives his season a B-minus rating. Warren Little / Getty Images
Justin Rose gives his season a B-minus rating. Warren Little / Getty Images

DUBAI // It is not exactly a habit. It barely qualifies as a trend, in fact.

But make no mistake, world No 7 Justin Rose has noticed a particularly annoying foible in his golf game, to the point that he turned to his caddie on Friday and made a self-deprecating joke about it.

Day 3 tee times.

He and caddie Mark Fulcher joked that he should start the day with an extra club in the bag, add a few penalty shots to his score. “just to get it over with,” Rose said with a laugh.

Based on history, they might have the first and last laugh.

Despite spotting the field a huge head start, Rose once again recovered and stormed up the leaderboard on Friday at the DP World Tour Championship, finishing with a 66 to grab a share of fifth place, three shots behind defending champion Henrik Stenson.

Three weeks ago in Shanghai, Rose was four over after four holes, and finished one shot out of a play-off by the time it was over. For the first 10 holes this week, he was four over. When he won the US Open in 2013, he was four over through 11 holes.

Rose suggested that his low-key demeanour might be partly to blame, since he is hardly the type to be squeezing sparks out of his club on the first tee box on Thursdays.

“Maybe I do see it as, ‘You gotta be patient, it’s a long week’,” he said.

It might not be easy, but lately, it has been effective. After his sluggish start in Dubai, Rose played the next 26 holes in 11 under, which included a sloppy bogey on the 18th hole on Friday after he had taken the outright lead.

Rose, a former European Tour Order of Merit champion, finished second at the tournament in 2012 to McIlroy. He has a blistering summer, winning once on the PGA and European tours, then cooled off, before playing the hero’s role for Europe at the Ryder Cup.

“I’d say a B-minus,” he said, grading his season. “The Ryder Cup might have made it a B.”

Rose was sailing along on Friday before trying to take advantage of the par-5 18th, when he aggressively drove his tee shot into the water hazard that winds through the hole. It was the lone bogey on the card.

Since it is the season finale, Rose laughed and said he was not as aggravated as he might normally have been. The end of the year is soon at hand.

“Deep breath, let it go,” he said. “Sometimes, that’s when your best comes out.”

selling@thenational.ae

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Published: November 21, 2014 04:00 AM

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