A SPLENDID tournament in America over the weekend produced a fittingly magnificent winner in Justin Rose.
Much of the early season focus has rightly fallen on Rory McIlroy’s rise to No1 in the world rankings and a resurgent Tiger Woods, but Rose’s performance in taming Doral Resort’s Blue Monster course at the WGC-Cadillac Championship provided a timely reminder of just what a class act the Englishman is.
As a consequence of plying his trade over in America the 31-year-old doesn’t appear to receive the adulation the likes of Lee Westwood and Luke Donald have enjoyed in the past.
After holding off Bubba Watson in a thrilling climax on Sunday, Rose has now won four tournaments Stateside – only Nick Faldo has more victories under his belt over there – so that tells you the calibre of the man.
Rose missed out on being part of the victorious European team at the 2010 Ryder Cup and that would have stung him. To have taken a big step towards automatic qualification for this year’s event will provide a major boost, particularly ahead of next month’s Masters, where he will certainly be a contender.
Meanwhile, an Achilles strain has put Woods’s participation at Augusta in doubt. It’ll be a huge shame if he fails to make it and his absence would leave a huge hole, but this is one tournament which always delivers, no matter who is participating.
Sam Torrance OBE won 21 European Tour titles and is a former Ryder Cup captain. Follow Sam on twitter @torrancesam