When he wasn’t named to the Ryder Cup team, Rose’s game seemed to dissipate. While there is no direct connection, the young man from England struggled to find the winner’s circle again in 2011. With only 4 top 10’s to his credit, Rose fell from 30th in the world ranking to 40th before this week in Chicago.
After a missed cut at the PGA Championship, Rose entered the FedEx Cup needing some solid results to get into the Tour Championship in Atlanta, on Thursday he finally found his game in the first round of the BMW Championship.
“Certainly my best round of the year by a long, long way,” Rose said. “Could have been top five, top ten rounds I’ve ever played for sure. “
Rose hit all 14 fairways, 16 of 18 greens, both were ranked number one is a field of the best players on the PGA Tour in 2011. Needing only 27 putts combined with the greens in regulation, Rose made eight birdies and only one bogey in shooting a 63.
“Really felt that with a decent putter I would have won a couple of those tournaments,” Rose said of chances in Florida and the Masters early in the year. “But momentum didn’t really ‑‑ I can’t catch fire when I played my best golf, and I think from that moment on it’s just a little bit hard to get momentum again, didn’t play quite as well through the summer.”
Rose finished sixth in a weather shortened Barclays to start the FedEx playoffs, but his 68th two weeks ago in Boston at the Deutsche Bank Championship, was evidence of his inconsistent play that has plagued him this year.
“Last week was a little bit of an anomaly,” Rose said of Deutsche Bank. “Didn’t quite make things happen at all; had a tough week picking clubs. I thought it was pretty tricky last week. But today ‑‑ had a little tune‑up with Sean Foley actually on Tuesday and really cleaned up a couple things in my golf swing and it was really nice to see the results straightaway today.”
If Rose can keep it going he is projected to move from 34th to 3rd in the FedEx Cup points list with the final event remaining.
With that position Rose would be guaranteed of winning the FedEx Cup with a win next week in Atlanta.
Not bad for a guy that has not really fired on all cylinders in 2011.
Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.