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The Bloom Is Still On Rose

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND | Justin Rose, who will be at Pinehurst for the defence of his US Open in a fortnight’s time, had a chapter devoted to him in the North Hants centenary book that appeared in 2004.
A sentence to catch the eye came from a Dr John Drake Lee, the 2001 captain.
“Justin,” he said of the club’s favourite son, “has never had anything resembling a swollen head and the only reservation I have ever had about him was that he was too nice to be a winner.”
The good doctor did not get that wrong. Rose was – and still is – absurdly nice.
“Of all the guys I’ve ever seen out here,” said Thomas Björn, the owner of that first-day 62 at Wentworth, “Justin’s the guy who’s learned the most from his hard times. Everyone was after him when he had that run of 21 missed cuts after the ’98 Open but he picked up something from each of those weeks.
“His demeanour never changed – and it’s never changed to this day. Like Martin Kaymer, Justin is absolutely magnificent in the way he carries himself and in the perspective he has on what he’s doing.”
Last Monday, Rose, his wife, Kate, and his mother, Annie, were back at North Hants for what was a glorious homecoming.
The club opened its new Justin Rose Room and some 480 members recalled stories such as that of the day the 13-year-old Justin came in with a 7-under-par 65 in a junior monthly medal. (Though an 11-yearold girl has just qualified for the US Women’s Open, Justin performed his feat in the days when juniors could combine golf with a childhood.)


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