Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson aren’t the only players skipping the Accenture World Match Play Championship this week. So, too, is Justin Rose, seeded seventh two years ago. Rose, the 29-year-old Englishman who has failed to live up to his great potential, simply played his way out of the top 64 in the world rankings.
Mark Garrod of the Press Association focused on Rose, now based in Florida, and how his successful Ryder Cup debut two year ago didn’t vault him to greater heights.
“I can’t even worry about the Ryder Cup right now,” he added. “That’s probably not what Monty (captain Colin Montgomerie) wants to hear, but not worrying about it is giving myself the best chance to make it. If I win two or three tournaments here in the States I’m going to be in the Ryder Cup. Easier said than done of course… But right now my priorities are different. Getting back to playing good golf and getting back to winning, that’s my focus. We all know that good golf takes care of everything else.”
Another problem Rose faces is getting in his minimum of 12 appearances in European tour events to retain his membership and be eligible for the Ryder Cup. He played in 14 last year, including four majors and three WGC events. He’s not going to get all seven of those appearances again, so he’ll have to refigure his playing schedule.
“If you are playing well and are in the right events it’s a
non-issue, but if you start falling out of the top 50 it leaves you in
a very precarious situation in terms of fulfilling requirements on both
Tours,” he said. “I feel good about my game and feel close. I’m really doing my best
not to worry about my ranking right now because I don’t feel it
reflects how well I am playing or the player I am. I’m just focusing on the process and what I know I can control.”
It is a sobering thought for him, though, that just 20 months on
from being Europe’s highest-ranked player, he not only has 26 ahead of
him now, but also nine fellow Englishmen–Lee Westwood, Paul Casey,
Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Luke Donald, Oliver Wilson, Simon Dyson, Ross
McGowan and Chris Wood.