SAN DIEGO -- Justin Rose won his only major at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion GC. Three years later he won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Olympics.
And two years ago, the Englishman won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, site of this 121st U.S. Open.
And after two strong performances in majors this year (7th at the Masters, T-8 at the PGA Championship), it all seemed to line up for Rose this week. But golf can be a cruel game, and when Rose signed for an ugly 6-over 77 Friday, it was only one shot better than his 7-over 78 from Thursday. At 13 over, he missed the U.S. Open cut for the seventh time in his career. (Scores)
“I obviously worked hard on the majors this year and that have brought the best out of me,” Rose said after just his second missed cut of 2021. “(They have) been my better weeks on the road.”
Rose finished seventh at the Masters after hanging on the leaderboard for a while thanks to an opening round 7-under 65. At the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, he closed with a 5-under 67 to finish eighth.
At the Masters, Rose discussed his swing issues and his return to Sean Foley, the longtime coach Rose fired last June after 11 years but re-enlisted earlier this year.
“I haven’t been comfortable with my game for some time, we’re trying to find where to find that level again.” Rose said on Friday after his round. “I’m trying to kick that, break the back of it. I feel like I’m clear, me and Sean are clear, and having some really good range sessions.”
Rose admitted that his game showed a lot of cracks in two days, including in Thursday’s first round when he struggled with a right-side miss that he called a “glaring problem.”
It took 29 holes before Rose made a U.S. Open birdie, on No. 2 on Friday, during his second nine. When he followed that up with a birdie on the 4th, Rose looked like he was seeing signs, but a bogey on the 5th hole and a double-bogey on the 7th, when he misjudged a chip, sent him back into a free fall.
“When you’re 10, 11, 12 over, even though you’re trying your hardest the grind isn’t there because you know it isn’t going to mean much,” Rose said. “It was nice to make a few birdies - - you realize you’re not that far away in the sense, when you’re playing well your focus now is you start to make birdies and then the leaderboard becomes an option.”
Rose is off to Travelers Championship in Connecticut next week and then eventually over to England to play in the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.
While he did miss the cut, Rose believes his game is getting better.
“All and all I feel motivated and feel hungry for it, so I’ll keep working on it,” Rose said. “The gear is not a million miles away even though the score obviously clearly is.”
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