Rose returns to PGA TOUR competition after four-week break
FedExCup champ is a host at Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
March 06, 2019
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Justin Rose comments before Arnold Palmer
ORLANDO – Justin Rose has won at Jack’s place, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, in 2010. He won Tiger’s tournament, the Quicken Loans National, in 2014. Now the defending FedExCup champion returns to the PGA TOUR to try and take care of unfinished business at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Rose was third at Bay Hill a year ago, his fifth top-10 finish at Palmer’s tournament, and comes in especially rested this time around. The last time we saw the 38-year-old Englishman, picking up his 10th TOUR win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, was Jan. 27.
“I had four weeks off at home,” Rose said, “just purposefully just sort of putting some gas back in the tank. Really sort of counteracting a lot of travel and the back end of last season, and certainly winning in San Diego kind of helped make that little break feel justified, in a way.
“It's always nice to—it's tough to take time off when you're way behind on the FedExCup and guys are earning points left right and center,” he added, “but to get those points under the belt early in the season made this time off, this planned time off, feel a little less stressful in a way.”
Any way you look at it, Rose has come close to winning at Bay Hill, with seven top-15 finishes since 2006. Last year he was close to the winner, paired with Rory McIlroy for the final round. If Rose’s progression at Bay Hill mirrors the progression of his career, a slow, steady rise to the top, then it seems logical to assume he’ll soon raise the trophy—perhaps as early as Sunday.
He should have fresh legs. He disconnected from the TOUR during his four-week break, but not completely. He was not unaware of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka winning and finishing T2 at the World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship and The Honda Classic, respectively. The three have jockeyed for the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, which could change hands again this week.
“I generally look at the PGA TOUR app on the Sunday,” Rose said, “and then if it's getting interesting I might watch the last three or four holes of the telecast to see what's going on.”
He’s not watching like the average fan, though.
“I like to watch golf when I can get an insight into the competitors that I'm facing,” he said, “and really you only learn that down the stretch on a Sunday, so that's when I tune in just to see how guys are handling it and the business end of things.”
Vacation is over, and Rose says he’s beginning “a block of work” that will start at the Arnold Palmer, pick up speed at THE PLAYERS Championship, and move on to the WGC-Dell Match Play (his first start there since 2016) and the Masters Tournament.
For Rose, the business end of things starts now.
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