Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rose Optimistic Again after First Win on American Soil

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rose Optimistic Again after First Win on American Soil

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Garrod

LEO Rose is only 15 months old, but even he was applauding as his dad Justin's long wait for a first victory in America ended at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

Celebrations, however, had to be put on ice - like Simon Khan after his BMW PGA Championship win two weeks ago Rose had to get up early yesterday to compete in a 36-hole US Open qualifier.

"I might have one set of drinks, but I'll be waking up clear-headed and ready to go," said Rose after receiving the trophy - and a cheque for over a million dollars - from tournament host Jack Nicklaus.

"I think it deserves the full respect that I'm going to give it and should I get through I'll obviously go into the US Open with a lot of confidence and just try to keep my momentum rolling." The fact that he was not already exempt for next week's championship at Pebble Beach and still has to earn a place in next month's Open at St Andrews as well just shows how far Rose had fallen since he was sixth in the world two years ago.

There was even a danger he would sacrifice his European Tour membership to concentrate on the American circuit - and put a Ryder Cup place in jeopardy.

But now all things look possible again.

The 29-year-old, who finally broke through in the States in his 162nd PGA Tour start, is up from 66th to 33rd on the world rankings and has leapt from 27th to eighth on the Ryder Cup world points list, just ahead of Wales Open winner Graeme McDowell.

Only four from that list, however, earn automatic places in Colin Montgomerie's side and since he plays so little in Europe it still looks likely that he will need one of three wild cards. Competition for those is really hotting up. Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Ross Fisher and McDowell would require one as things stand. "I guess I'm right in the hunt there now, which is great," commented Rose, who joins Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy as a winner in America this season. …

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