MEDINAH, Ill. -- Justin Rose fell short on Sunday in his quest to win for the second time this season on the PGA TOUR. But he took a ton of confidence from the 14-footer he holed for par on the 18th hole at East Lake.
When the ball found the bottom of the cup, Rose was able to hold onto sole possession of second at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. The successful stroke under such pressure also validated the work he's been doing on his putting with David Orr.
And that’s good news heading into an event like the Ryder Cup that places such a premium holing putts.
"I was beaten by the better guy on the day in Brandt Snedeker," Rose said. "He played very, very well on Sunday; he made putts and he chipped and he did everything he had to do. I felt like I played well, as well. To slip into a tie for second would have been a bit of a stinger.
“I felt like I took a lot of positives out of the day because of that putt on the 18th green."
Rose, who leads the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation, has struggled once he got there this year. In fact, he ranks 130th in strokes-gained putting, which measures a player's performance against the field each week.
So he sought the help of Orr, who was recommended by Rose's swing coach, Sean Foley. The two found that Rose has been experimenting in the heat of battle when he needed to go back to basics, correct his flaws and trust his stroke.
"There's absolutely nothing ground‑breaking, just trying to work my way back towards what would be a neutral stroke, technically correct," Rose said. "I was having a hard time on left‑to‑right putts, I kept missing them to the right, so there was clearly something awry, and that's it, really.
"Putting is an interesting part of the game because you can have a perfect stroke and not make putts. It's not about having a perfect stroke, and that's the balance that I need to find. You know, the stroke side of it is improving, but the artistry of putting is a whole different thing. ...
“I know that I can putt well no matter what the stroke, is what I'm saying, when you get into the right mindset."