Justin Rose heads to Hazeltine for his third straight Ryder Cup appearance as one of Europe’s leaders, both on the course and inside the team room.
The Englishman, who became golf’s first Olympic Champion since 1904 in Rio in August, boasts a superb Ryder Cup record having claimed ten points from his 14 matches in the biennial event since he made his debut in 2008 at Valhalla, including nine victories.
Indeed, of any player to have made three or more Ryder Cup appearances, Rose ranks second only to fellow countryman Ian Poulter in terms of point percentage with 71.4 per cent.
After playing a leading role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles in 2014, where he formed a formidable partnership with Henrik Stenson, winning three points from as many matches alongside the Swede, Rose believes Darren Clarke’s team will be as focused as ever on securing a fourth straight victory over the Americans.
“Despite the fact we have won the last three Ryder Cups, I don’t think there is going to be any complacency in this team,” he said.
“We’ll be 100 per cent hungry when we go to Hazeltine as we know we are up against it once more, and that drives us on to play our best golf.”
The Ryder Cup seems to bring out the best in certain players, who relish the unique atmosphere and pressure golf’s greatest team event produces.
Rose demonstrated he is very much a man for the big occasion during the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012, when the 36 year old secured a vital point in the Sunday Singles against Phil Mickelson.
“The crowd, the participation and the energy that it brings makes The Ryder Cup an event like no other,” said Rose, who also defeated Mickelson in the singles on his debut eight years ago in Kentucky. “It’s basically a cross between golf and football and no other event brings up the energy for every single shot quite like it does.
“From the first tee on Friday until the last putt on Sunday, every single shot has that intensity and that is all brought about by the rivalry between team USA and Europe, but more so by the crowd and how much they back each team. It’s just an environment that’s like no other to play golf in.”