Justin Rose is already well on his way to one of the best 2013 campaigns of any golfer on the PGA Tour this year. With a U.S. Open victory at Merion Golf Club last weekend, there’s no reason to expect anything less than a stellar year from the 32-year-old.
Rose notched his first major victory with that performance, breaking through the barrier that has held back some of the best golfers on the planet. It may just seem like another win to the casual observer, but winning a major after years of coming up short goes a long way toward building confidence—confidence he could very well harness in pursuit of a second major title.
The PGA Tour official Twitter account may have captured the perfect image to illustrate that fact:
Confidence may have been the missing piece in Rose’s pursuit of a major title. The world No. 3 has already posted four top-10 finishes in 2013 apart from his triumph at Merion, and as world No. 9 Graeme McDowell voiced on Twitter, Rose has been one of the best players on tour in recent years:
But as well as Rose has played recently, not every facet of his game has been up to par.
Confidence is absolutely crucial to playing winning golf, especially with the putter in hand. For as much buoyancy as he probably gained from winning his first major, there’s nothing like the assurance gained from besting a course that featured some of the most devastating greens of any track on the circuit this season.
Rose knocked down putt after putt on Merion’s demanding greens, tallying just 90 total putts for the tournament. Of the top seven finishers, only Hunter Mahan, Charl Schwartzel and Luke Donald attempted fewer putts though four rounds.
With the missing piece of his game seemingly solved, Rose couldn’t be in better position to churn out a few more wins this season. If he can win at Merion, he can win anywhere.
There’s still a lot of golf to be played this year, but there are also few players in better position to make a spectacular run this season. If the U.S. Open proved anything, the tour is still wide open.
With a major victory now in his pocket, Rose proved to himself and the rest of the golf world that there isn’t anything he can’t do at this point in his career. Don’t expect that to change in 2013.