Monday, September 19, 2011

Thorny Rose

It looked more like a local golf course on a drab September evening as Justin Rose walked up the 18th at the BMW Championship in Chicago last night to claim the third PGA tour victory of his career and play himself right into contention for the 10 million big ones on offer at the Tour Championship this coming weekend.
With no significant moves from the pack, Rose gave glimpses of wilting, but when it mattered he returned his game to the solid state it had been in all week and secured a 2 shot victory over Aussie, John Senden. Rose now lies third in the Fed-Ex standings and should he secure victory at the Tour Championship he will have earned himself a $10 million jackpot even he could not have foresaw even a week ago.
Rose will always be remembered as the kid who at just 17 and an amateur tied for 4th in the Open Championship in 1998. His head turned professional after that and many pundits questioned him when he missed 21 consecutive cuts at the start of his professional career.
2002 saw Rose win four time worldwide and establish himself on the European Tour.
In 2006 Rose switched alliances and crossed the Atlantic, but despite the transition managed to win the European Order of Merit the following year after winning the final event of the year, The Volvo Masters.
In 2010 Rose claimed victories for the first time Stateside with wins at the Memorial and the AT&T before last nights success. Rose has been very much a form player throughout his career. His victories have by and large come in spouts, and that is why he will be seen as a major contender this coming weekend for the biggest prize in Golf.
Webb Simpson leads the standings going into the Tour Championship, with Mr. Inconsistent, Dustin Johnson in the second ranked position. Rose is third, followed by Mr. Consistent, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar making up the top-five who hold the destiny of the mammoth cheque in their own destiny. A victory by any of them secures the windfall. In the event of that not happening, the winner of the Fed-Ex Cup will be the best ranked player at the end of the 30-man event.
It may not be the strongest field ever assembled, but it is reward for consistency throughout an entire season Stateside. If I had money it would be on Rose. If I had Paddy Power's money it would be Jeff Ogilvy, and if i had sentimental money, it would be on Jason Dufner for the win at the season's finale - if not for the big cheque. So now you know who to avoid...


Just 10 miles from here the Solheim Cup will be the focus of the women's game next weekend at Killeen Castle. I worked on that project for a few months panning the floors of the wealthy before rain interrupted play... but that's another story.
With ticket prices being as they are and no offer of writing work to cover the event, I'll be following the event on TV. Best of luck to all involved in bringing such a prestigious event to the County of Meath. Plaudits where plaudits are due.


Congrats to Dublin who showed that metal counts in Sport yesterday when they overturned a 4 point deficit with eight minutes to go against Kerry to win by a point with virtually the last kick of the game - from their goalkeeper to win The All-Ireland football championship. After so long, I'm sure it was worth the wait.

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