DUBLIN, Ohio—Justin Rose enters this week’s Memorial Tournament as the reigning champion. He does so, though, hoping to rekindle the form he appeared to lose after winning the AT&T National just a few weeks after his win here a year ago.
In early July of last year, Rose appeared to have put himself in position to make the European Ryder Cup team. That hope faded, however, after failing to make the cut at both the Open Championship and PGA Championship.
Since then, wins have been far from his reach.
“I’ve been disappointed,” said Rose on Tuesday. “I’m not trying to judge things … obviously ultimately you always judge things by results. But I’ve been trying to do my best to look at my career like a trend line. And I think I’ve made huge gains this year in a lot of other areas of my game.”
Rose went on to outline that he is second in Greens In Regulation and that he is seeing tangible signs of improvement.
Winning is really the ultimate measure and, to be fair, Rose has had a few chances.
He finished ninth at the Northern Trust Open, though never put one low round together. His best round was a 2-under 69.
The Englishman did finish fifth at the Transitions Championship in March. After 6-under 65s on Friday and Saturday to take a one-stroke 54-hole lead, he closed with a 3-over 74.
A week later at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he closed with a solid 70-68 finish. The weekend, though, was not enough to make up for a slow start, and he finished third.
“I put myself in position to have some good weeks,” Rose said. “It’s just that little bit of making the right putt at the right time, which is what I manage to do in this stretch last year was make some putts, and that’s what gets it done.”
Rose is currently ranked in the top 100 in only one of the important putting statistical categories—84th in one-putt percentage. In all the others, he is woefully below the PGA Tour average.
Playing off the vibes of last year’s win could improve more than just his stats this week.
Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.