Rose shows his mettle to bloom again

Justin Rose has spent a whole career astonishing his doubters by bouncing back from adversity and at the Aronimink Country Club in Philadelphia the Englishman is doing so again. After blowing a big lead in spectacular fashion last week, Rose takes a four-stroke cushion into today’s final of the AT&T National.

A 67 last night sent Rose to 10-under and gives the 29-year-old the opportunity to forget the capitulation which saw him turn a six-shot cushion into a ninth place finish at last week’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut. Rose, who famously missed 21 cuts in a row on turning pro as a teenager, showed all his recuperative powers to leave the Swede Carl Pettersson and the Korean Charlie Wi leading the pursuit.

What a tremendously gutsy success this would be. The very least of Rose’s ambition will be to secure his berth in next week’s Open field at St Andrews by topping a mini order of merit which has been running on the PGA Tour. The form player in world golf already holds a commanding lead.

Two tournaments ago he won his first American title at the Memorial, last week he seemed certain of going back-to-back before a 75 sent him tumbling down the leaderboard.

The fear was that belittling experience would precipitate another downturn in Rose’s topsy-turvy career. Yet he has picked himself up so impressively in Pennsylvania. His 64 on Friday was particularly well-crafted and bodes so well for the Old Course. A dozen years after he finished fourth as a 17-year-old amateur the Open beckons once more. He will travel to Co Limerick for the JP McManus Pro-Am tonight strongly fancied.

Also on that private jet will be Tiger Woods, arriving in the British Isles for the first time since one of sport’s seediest scandals erupted. But while certain sections of the media will arrive at Adare Manor intent on finding out whether the divorce rumours are true, the golfing spotlight will fall upon his putter. It is fair to say this is not the most functional of relationships at the moment.

Yesterday Woods took 31 more putts in a 70 which left him 13 strokes off the pace. The fact he had finished his third round an hour before Rose started his, only extenuated the forlornness of his position. He wanted to fare so much better in the event he once hosted, but which since the sponsors dropped him in the wake of the revelations, he now only attends because his charity has remained as the beneficiary.

Woods had made the cut with nothing to spare and was looking for a birdie surge to escape the back-markers. Instead, bogeys arrived on the first two holes and by the back nine Woods was forced to fight for a bit of respectability. He managed it, to some extent, with three birdies. But the reality was inescapable.

This is his sixth comeback event from his self-enforced absence and he will cross the pond still awaiting his first victory of 2010. This will be the longest winless stretch he has suffered from the start of a season since 2002. Obviously the circumstances are unique, but so were they when he returned from an eight-month absence after knee surgery last year. He was out of the winner’s enclosure for a whole two tournaments then.

Certainly Woods sounded disconsolate. ““My game’s not quite where it needs to be, not quite sharp yet,” he said. “I hit it awesome, putt awful. I putt great, hit it awful. It's always something.”

At least he claimed to have “found something” on the greens yesterday. In a week in which he admitted being interviewed by federal agents about his involvement with Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor under drug charges, and in which further reports emerged of an impending divorce, the last thing Woods required was for his most cherished club to desert him. Woods will spend today and then the next five days or so in Ireland desperately trying to work on this short-grass improvement before arriving at “my favourite course in the world“.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?