Olympic gold, father's memory inspire Rose

2016-09-28 20:47
Justin Rose (Getty)

Chaska - Justin Rose will draw inspiration from his late father Ken's memory as well as his Rio Olympic gold medal when the Ryder Cup tees off Friday at Hazeltine.

The 36-year-old Englishman has been a stalwart for Europe against the Americans in the biennial team golf showdown, going 9-3 with 2 halved over three starts.

Rose was looking out over the layout and pondering a photograph of his father from 2002, one showing Ken Rose on the back nine at Hazeltine less than a month before he died of cancer at age 57.

"I was out on the golf course and I gazed off into the distance," Rose said. "There are some nice open views on this golf course, but with some wooded trees. And I definitely have a memory."

The photo was given to Rose's mom by a family friend.

"It's a picture of my dad under some of those trees on the back nine and it has a title -- 'Happy Days,' Obviously that was a fond memory and something that actually hit me," Rose said.

"There's definitely inspiration I can draw from that. I do think about my dad a lot, especially when it comes to moments like this, because these are moments he would have loved to have been a part of. It's a nice source of energy for me this week."

There are plenty for Rose to pull from, like his 2013 US Open victory, looking up to the sky on the last green at Merion in a gesture to his dad, or his triumph at Rio, where he outdueled Swede Henrik Stenson -- his teammate this week -- for gold as golf returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

While Rose has pulled it out at times, the gold medal is absent this week, along with other trappings of individual success by British Open champion Stenson, Masters winner Danny Willett of England and Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy.

"It's not something that I'm touting around, not at all," Rose said. "Danny doesn't have the green jacket in the team room, Rory doesn't have the FedExCup in the team room. I think this is about The Ryder Cup and that little gold trophy, and that's enough for us all this week.

"It's nice to have belief in your teammates that they can stand up to pressure and they can deliver on the big stage and I think that's what the gold medal and the green jacket and the FedExCup and Henrik's Claret Jug, that's what they represent.

"We're guys that can play the best golf when it counts, but we are after that little gold trophy. We are not after anything else this week. We are not about any of the other victories that the team had enjoyed all year long."

Europe unites seeking an unprecedented fourth win in a row over the Americans, what would be a seventh in eight tries and ninth in 11 outings.

In Europe's 2014 romp at Gleneagles, Rose partnered with Stenson for two four-ball wins and an alternate-shot foursomes victory, then halved alongside Martin Kaymer in foursomes and against Hunter Mahan in singles.

"A successful Ryder Cup campaign doesn't always have to be about how many points you put on the board," Rose said.

"That's the team mentality. You need to do whatever is right for the team on the week. But from my own personal performance at Gleneagles, it was more about making putts that was my overriding memory."

Rose said there is some carryover from the British Olympic team feeling to the Ryder Cup team atmosphere.

"When I got to Rio, it really hit me that I was part of something bigger than my individual sport," Rose said. "The wider goal of the team and the medal tally very inspiring. It made you want to bring your best. From that point of view, it's very similar to this week. You really want to give 100 percent."

Read more on:    ryder cup  |  justin rose  |  golf

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