x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Golf: Time out will help Justin Rose bloom at British Open

Justin Rose needs time to recharge his batteries for next month's British Open. If his victory at Merion proved anything, it is that he now sits at golf's top table, writes John McAuley.

Justin Rose withdrew from the AT&T National because of exhaustion. Fred Beckham/ AP Photo
Justin Rose withdrew from the AT&T National because of exhaustion. Fred Beckham/ AP Photo

Parading his newest prize at the New York Stock Exchange, appearances on everything from the Today show to The Late Show with David Letterman, Justin Rose has been a busy boy since collecting a first major title 11 days ago.

The 2013 US Open champion still had time to squeeze in a tournament on the PGA Tour, too, floating through the first three rounds of the Travelers Championship and into contention before fatigue hit on Sunday to haul him to a tied-13th finish.

Understandably, exhaustion was cited as his reason for withdrawing, reluctantly, from the AT&T National, which begins Thursday at Congressional Country Club. The obligatory apologies followed, although Rose should not feel sorry, even if Tiger Woods is also out. Golf is a bleakly individual sport and he must care only about himself.

That the AT&T struggles to attract strong fields – it resides at an awkward time on the calendar – should not create guilt, especially as its 2010 champion has always demonstrated his commitment to the tournament. Conversely, most of his fellow Europeans migrate home after the US Open.

Rose needs time to recharge his batteries for next month's British Open. If his victory at Merion proved anything, it is that he now sits at golf's top table, and must do everything to ensure he is in peak shape for the majors. He may not feel it after a whirlwind 11 days, but Rose, finally, is in his major-winning prime.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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