Rose looks to rebound at Wells Fargo Championship
April 30, 2019
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Justin Rose comments before Wells Fargo
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Justin Rose doesn’t know how his game stands as he returns to the Wells Fargo Championship for the first time in three years. But he’s certain of one thing.
“I like where it’s going to go,” said Rose, the reigning FedExCup champion.
The Wells Fargo is his first start since a shocking missed cut at the Masters. He sat atop the world ranking when he arrived at Augusta National and had a stellar record in the year’s first major.
Rose didn’t break par in either of the first two rounds, though, and was able to watch Tiger Woods’ historic victory from the comfort of his couch. It was Rose’s first missed cut in 14 Masters appearances, and just the third time he finished outside the top 25 at Augusta National.
The trouble started after Rose didn’t play any tournaments in February. He took the one-month break to keep himself fresh for the remainder of the season, which culminates with the FedExCup Playoffs in August.
“I kind of came out of that month not playing as well as I would have hoped,” Rose said. “The Florida Swing became a bit of a struggle and a bit of a grind.”
Rose never contended at another tournament where he possesses a strong track record, the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. He shot 77-75 on the weekend to finish outside the top 60. He said he still didn’t have his best stuff when he finished in the top 10 at both THE PLAYERS and the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.
“I was always just sort of fighting my game a little bit,” Rose said, “and then you’re sort of cramming for an exam.”
Like a sleep-deprived student who can’t stay awake for a final, all that extra preparation may have caused more harm than good when he arrived in Augusta.
“By Thursday, I tanked a little bit,” he said.
Now, with that week behind him, Rose is trying to focus on the future. The Masters isn’t the only event he’s trying to forget, though. He’s also looking past the incredible run that vaulted him to the top of the world rankings and culminated with last year’s FedExCup.
Rose has finished in the top 10 in nearly two-thirds of his PGA TOUR starts since the 2017 FedExCup Playoffs (19 of 29 events). That includes three wins, most recently at the Farmers Insurance Open. He’s 18th in the FedExCup as he seeks to become the first person to successfully defend that title.
“Winning this year is great, but I feel like there’s a bit of a refocus and rededication and remotivation that I found in the last week or two,” Rose said. “I’m excited about what I can rebuild going forward for the rest of the season.”
A well-rested Rose will be making his eighth appearance in the Wells Fargo. He finished in the top-5 in his last two appearances. He was under par in all eight rounds, with a cumulative score of 18 under par.
He missed the cut in his last visit to this course, in the 2017 PGA Championship, but still is happy to be back at a place that offers the type of tough, cerebral test that he appreciates.
“You have to respect a lot of pin placements here, you have to keep it under the hole,” Rose said. “I think you’re playing a more defensive style of golf at times. I think that suits me.”