Justin Rose finds a coach and a friend
ARDMORE, Pennsylvania (AP)—Next week marks four years that Justin Rose first began working on his swing with Sean Foley. But in the moments after winning the U.S. Open for his first major championship, Rose referred to him as more than just a swing coach.
He gave credit to Foley for improvements each year, particularly being able to hit the ball a little longer and a little straighter. Rose also mentioned a text that Foley sent him on Sunday morning before he closed with an even-par 70 for his two-shot win.
“He said something along the lines of just go out there and be the man that your dad taught you to be and be the man that your kids can look up to,” Rose said Sunday. “Really, that was my goal. Today was about winning the U.S. Open, but it was also about honoring great men that have come before us. A lot of us have that sort of situation with their fathers.”
Rose lost his father, Ken, to leukemia in 2002 when Rose was 21 and is just starting to recover from a rocky start to his pro career. Rose describes their time together as quality over quantity.
As for Foley?
“I would say it’s more than just a player-coach relationship,” he said. “I regard him as a true friend, and I regard him as someone who if I ever had a question about golf or about life, he would be very much at the top of my list. He’s a very interesting character and very strong mentally. And he passes that on well.”
TIGER CHANCES: Tiger Woods has now played 16 majors since he last won the 2008 U.S. Open, so he remains four short of matching the record of Jack Nicklaus. Can he do it? Padraig Harrington says there is “no question about it.”
“He only needs to win four more. He’s got plenty of years,” Harrington said. “The weeks he plays well, he wins. Not too many guys can say, `Well, if I play well, I’m winning.’ All he has to do is pick the right week. Clearly, he’s not as good as he was in the past, but he’s going to hit the right week enough times to win four more majors.”
Woods has picked the wrong week so far. He has four wins on the PGA Tour.
“That’s irrelevant,” Harrington said. “He’s going to hit the right week eventually.”
RORY’S ESCORT: The police officer who got Rory McIlroy to the Ryder Cup on time for his singles match at Medinah is moving up. Pat Rollins, the deputy chief of the Lombard Police Department for the last 12 years, is taking over as police chief for the Sugar Grove Police Department.
McIlroy was looking at the wrong time zone when he realized he was running an hour behind. Rollins got him to the Chicago-area golf course in an unmarked car, and McIlroy beat Keegan Bradley as Europe staged a record-tying rally to win.
The car, meanwhile, was to be replaced this year. Instead, the village of Lombard put it up for auction on eBay.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has not broken 70 in his last 10 rounds, his longest such streak since July 2010.
FINAL WORD: “It’s not getting any easier as I get older.”—Steve Stricker, 46, on trying to win his first major championship.