When he tees it up in the first round of The Irish Open here today, Justin Rose will be playing in Europe for only the third time this year. And he has no plans to make his fourth appearance the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles next month, even if he has not earned a Ryder Cup place by then.
"If I get blamed for that well... I am comfortable with my decision," the Englishman said yesterday. "The Ryder Cup is important to me, but I'm third in the FedEx Cup standings and that's where my focus is going to be then."
It was only last month that the Europe captain, Colin Montgomerie, said he expected everybody in contention for his three wildcards to be in Scotland for the final qualifying event. "I want to see them showing support for European golf and the European Tour and I will be very, very surprised if they are not there," he said. "I shouldn't have to ask those eight to play at Gleneagles. They will be there."
Rose could still be among the nine who qualify automatically, but even a third victory in five starts on Sunday would leave him with ground to make up at next week's World Golf Championship event in Akron, Ohio. After that comes the final major of the season, the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, and only at the completion of that are several European stars likely to know where they stand in the points list.
Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Rose, Henrik Stenson, Edoardo Molinari – all in the world's top 25 – and Sergio Garcia are all outside the prized top nine spots at the moment, although a Harrington win here this weekend could take him all the way from 17th to sixth. Also in the field are Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, who yesterday received an invite to the USPGA.Reuse content