HAS ROSE BANISHED HIS HODOO?

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Justin Rose’s triple triumph on Sunday will warm the hearts of his supporters who have always known he was sufficiently gifted to go all the way.

Justin Rose’s triple triumph on Sunday when he won the season-closing Volvo Masters at Valderrama and in so doing, elevated himself to European champion and to World No 7, will warm the hearts of his supporters who have always known he was sufficiently gifted to go all the way.
But it has not come without pain and disillusionment on his part and frustration and disappointment on the part of his backers.
It says something about his gutsy character, though, that the lanky, young South African-born Englishman has been able to live through and brush aside some of the bad times that have followed the good times in his first decade on tour.
Perhaps struggling Michelle Wie should try to take a leaf or two out of his book for like her he was relatively young when he first hit the headlines.
He was just 17 and still an amateur when he had the golf world buzzing with a sensational chip and 4th place finish at the 1998 Open Championship.
But then in a disastrous debut year as a professional in the following season he had the miserable experience of missing 21 successive cuts before he was able to earn his first pound or two.
Learning from the hard school of knocks Rose gradually regained his confidence and some five years ago looked set for bigger things when he picked up four titles in a single season, two them in South Africa.
Tragically his inspirational father Ken died of leukemia not too long after that and the loss seemed to plunge Rose back into the wilderness again.
Perhaps to get away from the painful memories of his father’s death and to get experience on the toughest tour in the world, Rose decided his future lay in the United States on the PGA Tour where he would be closer to his swing coach David Leadbetter.
Again his career took a dip and for a while he disappeared, but slowly, slowly, he began the fight back and after a series of strong finishes including some top threes in the majors, he has finally broken through.
Winning the European Tour’s premier event after the majors and in so doing capturing his first European Merit Order crown and hoisting himself into a career high and European-best at No 7 on the World Rankings, must surely have given him a huge shot in the arm.
I can see it all going a long way to ridding him of his apparent self doubt and banishing the ‘nice guy who always come second’ hoodoo that have all too often tripped him up at critical moments and stopped him securing famous victories that were all well within his compass.
I hope he does too for this could well be the beginning of an exciting new era for British and European golf.
Don’t you agree?
Cheers
Neville Leck

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