Justin Rose insists he now feels “positive and motivated” after going through a period of transition during and after lockdown, and turning 40 in July was pivotal in his decision-making.
Rose is at Wentworth this week for the European Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship, and it is the first time he has headed back to his homeland this year as he looks to halt a disappointing run of performances in the United States.
The former world No 1 has missed the cut in five of his last seven starts, but he is now focused on finding more fixes by himself and building on a few “light-bulb” moments that hit him shortly after reaching the age of 40.
“Ultimately, the decision was, I turned 40 this year and maybe I was fully grown up and ready to do more by myself, and not have so much hand holding,” Rose said.
“I still have Sean Foley (swing coach) around me, who I can consult with if I have a question. That’s the way I treat it. If I have a question, go to someone and get the relevant answer, but to take a little bit more ownership myself.
“It hasn’t worked out yet, but these things don’t always happen immediately. The last couple of days have actually clicked into a couple days of what I call growth. There are some light-bulb moments and it’s a blend of some of the new things I’ve learned along the way and some of the old blue prints under Sean.
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“I feel like I’m piecing all that together and also body-wise, being able to drill it and groove it in. You always see results on the range before you see it on the golf course, but like I said earlier, I feel positive and motivated at the moment. I’m enjoying my golf and my practise, so you can only hope that does lead to good stuff eventually.”
Rose conceded his patience has been tested to the limit after slipping to 23rd in the world rankings, but he does have positive performances to reflect on, such as his tie for ninth place at the PGA Championship.
“Obviously patience-wise, it’s been tested for sure,” he added. “It’s not fun not competing at the top end of the leaderboard. But I’ve seen a couple of spells that keeps you buoyant, so it’s not all been doom and gloom. I competed decent at the PGA Championship, and was within two or three of being right there at the end.
“So there’s enough good stuff to keep the belief, and I feel like I’m working on ultimately a bit of a bigger plan and prize at the end of it all, so I’m trying to think about what’s going to move the move the needle in my career.
“Of course winning more regularly, everyone is going to do that but for me it’s winning the right tournaments. We’ve got the Masters down the road, and we get two opportunities at that within the next six months.”
Rose also confirmed he was in the process of moving back to the UK full time for the next “10-year block” of his career, which follows a decade living in Atlanta followed by 10 years residing in the Bahamas.
“I’m very philosophical about the last eight months, moving me in the direction of achieving my career goals, which are ultimately trying to win majors I haven’t won yet, which is three out of four,” he said.
“But yeah, we’re in transition of spending more and more time in the UK and thinking about what’s good for the kids long term. My brother has moved back to the UK and family, as you get older, touching 40, it’s a re-evaluation.
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“I always believe in making the best decision you can at the time with about a 10-year view, trying to work in 10-year blocks and that’s how I have treated my career. I was in Atlanta for 10 years, Bahamas for 10 years, and there could be a new phase coming. So something we are in the transition of figuring out.”
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