Rob Lee reckons Justin Rose could be on verge of winning Major
Rob Lee reckons the ever-reliable, uber-confident Justin Rose could be on the verge of winning a Major.
Last Updated: 18/10/12 12:10pm
The Englishman's victory in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, in which he remained unbeaten throughout and beat Tiger Woods in the semi-finals and countryman Lee Westwood in the final, caps off a very consistent period.
Rose has risen to world number five this year, off the back of a victory in the WGC-Cadillac Championship, a second-placed finish in the Tour Championship and countless other solid performances.
The 32-year-old's success, I feel, is down to his level-headedness - he doesn't get too excited when he wins or downbeat when he loses - and he has made steady progress ever since some difficult early days as a professional.
Rose burst onto the scene at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1998, where he finished fourth as an amateur, but he had a disastrous start to Tour life, missing his first 21 cuts as a pro.
Since then, though, he has been the model of consistency; he hasn't had one flashy year followed by a poor year and has been reliable all the way, something that has helped him become a top-10 player.
But Rose's recent displays - I'm thinking of the Ryder Cup in particular, where he played beautifully and holed some terrific putts, especially against Phil Mickelson on the 17th green on the final day - have been of the highest quality.
Little snippets like that will make him realise that he is a seriously good golfer and it wouldn't surprise me if he went on to win a Major in the not-too-distant future.
I think we can now put him on par with his fellow Englishmen Westwood and Luke Donald and considering how comfortable he is playing in America, he could beat those two to a Slam.
It looks like, if reports are to be believed, that it could be a toss-up between Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley for the job of European Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2014.
Neither man will have to sell themselves to the decision makers as their records in the game speak volumes; Darren has been a top player for years and won a Major, while Paul has captained a couple of successful Seve Trophy squads.
But the committee have to pick the best man for the job at the time and not take into consideration who gets the gig in 2016. Two years is a long time in golf and plenty of things could change, so rather like golf when it is one shot at a time, you deal with one captaincy at a time.
Clarke, McGinley, and two other men whose names have been mentioned, Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez, were on the backroom staff in Medinah, so have had a mini-job interview, if you like.
I'm sure the players who worked with them will put their penny's worth in and say how useless or how wonderful the candidates are, and that may have a bearing on selection, but Europe should just be delighted that they have so many potential leaders in their ranks.
And I'm sure all the contenders will be desperate to take the reins at Gleneagles, because as we've seen with the likes of Larry Nelson and Sandy Lyle missing out, there is no guarantee that you will eventually become a Ryder Cup captain.
ROB'S SKY BET TIPS
Perth International: America's Jason Dufner will venture to Australia to play in this event so good on him. The 35-year-old has got everything together this year and picked up two tournament victories on the PGA Tour, so his presence will add to the tournament and I think he will win it.
McGladrey Classic: John Daly and Gary Christian need big weeks as they battle to keep their PGA Tour card, Davis Love III could do well, while Jonas Blixt will be full of confidence after his triumph in the Frys.com Open. Jason Day, though, showed some form at the Shriners a couple of weeks back and I'll go for him to win in Georgia.