Men's Golf

Which Brit Will Win a Major First: Ian Poulter or Justin Rose?

Justin Rose and Ian Poulter
Justin Rose and Ian PoulterDavid Cannon/Getty Images
Ron JuckettContributor IIIJanuary 4, 2013

Both Ian Poulter and Justin Rose are certainly capable of winning majors.

However, Rose is probably the more polished of the two players.

The biggest difference in winning a major as opposed to a regular tournament is handling the pressure.

No matter how calm, cool and collected a player might be, at some point on a Sunday, it will sink in that they are on the verge of winning a major.

The pressure becomes more intense, however, when a player has yet to break through for his first major.

That is where Poulter and Rose are in their careers. As accomplished as they are, they have yet to break through on golf’s biggest stage.

Rose is currently one of the best players in the world from tee to green. He is long off the tee, accurate in finding the fairway and has a very good short game.

Poulter is a precision player. Not very long off the tee, Ian does put the ball in play and, as we saw on the front nine of the last round of the PGA Championship last year, can get really hot with the putter.

As displayed by his tenacity at the Ryder Cup, Poulter is also very good at dealing with stress.

If there was a key to Europe’s major comeback on Sunday, it was Poulter’s comeback win to take the last point Saturday afternoon.

The problem for Poulter in most majors, however, is going to be his lack of length. In order to make courses tough enough to play majors on, they have to be so long not to give the power hitters a huge advantage.

Rose’s biggest problem is with his putter. He just is not very comfortable with it.

The course setup at Augusta National and at the British Open should not faze him. As long as Rose does not feel comfortable with this putter, he will have a hard time winning either of those.

If he does have confidence with his putter, there is no reason why Rose could not win any of the four majors.

Poulter, on the other hand, would need to get a bit lucky. If he can ride the hot putter, then certainly he could win the Masters, where putting is so crucial.

Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, Justin Rose would be the slow and steady player that can win at any point.

Poulter is just like the hare.

He can be both hot and cold—sometimes even in the same round—but if he is lurking on a Sunday, he certainly can throw together a round that could win him his first major. 

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