In the fourth part of our series profiling the players who have automatically qualified for Darren Clarke’s European Team for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, we take a closer look at golf Olympic Champion and three-time Ryder Cup player, Justin Rose.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to English parents before moving to England aged five, when he first started playing golf seriously. Broke 70 for the first time aged 11, and went on to have a memorable amateur career playing in the 1997 Walker Cup before shooting to global prominence with a tied fourth finish at the 1998 Open Championship, winning the silver medal for low amateur. The first professional title of his career came at the 2002 Dunhill Championship in the city of his birth and he added the British Masters just six months later. In 2007, the Englishman topped the Order of Merit, finishing the year with two wins, three second places and four more top tens. His Major breakthrough came in the US Open at Merion in 2013. A consistent European Tour performer, he has finished in the top five on the Race to Dubai in each of the last four seasons and is also the only person to win in each of the last five campaigns. Headlined golf’s return to the Olympic Games following a 112-year absence by claiming the gold medal in Rio.
European Tour appearances: 269
European Tour wins: 9
Top ten finishes: 62
Career earnings: €19,772,941
Ryder Cup record
Appearances: 3 (2008, 2012, 2014)
Overall record (W-L-H): 9-3-2
Total points: 10
Point percentage: 71.43 per cent
Ryder Cup highlights
• In 2012 at Medinah, Rose played Phil Mickelson in the Sunday singles. One down on the 17th tee, he holed a spectacular birdie putt from downtown to pull the match all square before winning the 18th to seal a vital victory in that miraculous comeback
• In 2014 at Gleneagles, Rose found trouble on the 13th hole in his Sunday singles tie against Hunter Mahan. Already one down and lodged deep in the rough close to a tree, it looked like the Hampshire native would struggle to find the green. His escape was Seve-esque, though, pitching short of the green and running to within two feet of the hole.
2016 Qualification highlights
After finishing second in the Tour Championship on the US PGA Tour early in the qualification period, Rose won the UBS Hong Kong Open and snatched another top ten finish in the BMW Masters in Shanghai during the autumn of 2015. He finished tied tenth in the Masters Tournament in April and tied 22nd in both The Open Championship and US PGA Championship. Became the first Olympic Golf champion in 112 years when he claimed the gold medal, winning by two shots from Ryder Cup partner Henrik Stenson.
Rose's form during the points race:
"I feel like it's been a lot closer than it is. It's almost like you're waking a sleeping giant, in a way, because the American team is getting very hungry. We’re not resting on our laurels, I think it’s very important for us to go into the Ryder Cup staying very, very hungry as a team.”