Rose's grit can grind down the 'Monster'

On the day that Colin Montgomerie equalled his worst score in a major, Justin Rose made a welcome return to form. The humiliating experience of shooting 84 could signal the end of the Scot's major odyssey, but for the Englishman this could just be the inspiration he needs to put his march to the big-time back on its feet.

Rose came into the season's final major reeling after a campaign in which all the good work of 2007 had plainly not been consolidated. Worse still, the Ryder Cup berth that had seemed so certain, was suddenly precarious as he fell from first on the automatic standings into the last qualifying spot. Rose contended in every major last year, but after leading the first round of the Masters in April he has not been a factor in 2008. Until now.

After a brilliant 67, Rose is on level par and right in the hunt for both his first major and the points to seal his place in Nick Faldo's team. Could Britain's appalling USPGA record of 78 winless years about to redressed? Two more displays like this and it will. "That was my round of the year for sure," said Rose. "It's the kind of round I've been looking for to get myself back on the leaderboard and feeling the good vibes again. It just been a matter of the confidence, just a waiting game I suppose, until I start putting well again. That's how fickle it is."

Taking just 11 putts in the opening nine, Rose raced to the turn in one-under and then added two more on the par-five second (his 11th) and the par-four fourth (his 13th). Yet it was the scrambles he made that reminded most of the resurgent young man who hurtled from rankings from outside the top 100 to sixth in the space of 18 months. Rose just may have rediscovered the grind factor

There was one dropped shot, on the 18th (his ninth), but then again that 500-yarder is a par four only on the card and as bogeys go this was a classic. After spotting Faldo watching by the tee – "maybe that put the mockers on me," he laughed – Rose went from one fairway bunker to another, still had a seven-iron when playing for his fourth but got down in two courtesy of a eight-footer. Five there is no shame and pars everywhere else on a layout so rightly termed "The Monster" is a giddying achievement. Ben Curtis, the 2003 Open champion, was also in on level with his own 67, while setting the clubhouse target on one-under was the American, JB Holmes But out on the course the preferred expression was one of torment and the favoured response was disgust.

Ian Poulter best summed up the general, displeasure over the set-up. "You are just trying not to bleed to death out there," he said after a 71 left him on five over. "It's like the PGA slice your throat on the first tee and you have to try and make it round to the 18th without dying." Monty would have know exactly what he meant.

It was sad and yes, rather painful watching the 45-year-old fare so catastrophically at the scene of his Ryder Cup glory in 2004. That year he held a four-footer on the 18th to win the cup; this time the same putt was simply to avoid equalling the worst round of his 20-year career. As it was, his round of 14-over (leaving him on 19-over overall) took its place alongside the 84 at The Open in 2002.

"That was the hardest day on a course since Muirfield," he said when commendably stopping to talk. He the revealed he would not be playing until the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in thee weeks time, which just happens to be the last counting tournament to make Faldo's side. His chances of making a ninth Ryder Cup appearance now appear bleak, to say the least. "I'm not even thinking about that and I wasn't out there," he said. "I wasn't conscious of much out there really."

Oakland Hills claimed many more victims, not least Darren Clarke. The Ulsterman arrived in Michigan on the back of an encouraging top 10 finish at the prestigious WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron believing that another good showing here would propel him into the considerations for a Kentucky wildcard. Alas a 75 and a 76 for an 11-over total has propelled him right out of it again. "It is a real and honest appraisal that I wouldn't pick myself at the moment," said Clarke. "But if I play well in those last couple of weeks and he was to pick me then great – but I do have to play well."

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
film
Sport
football
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
A photograph taken by David Redferm of Sonny Rollins
people
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker