For years we golf scribes sat around, scratching our heads, wondering when Justin Rose, the one-time amateur phenom turned professional, would start winning big events.
His game always seemed solid, but it never came together when he needed it to. Some great play at the 2003 U.S. Open, and another solid performance at the '07 Masters, but for the most part, he was just another young star that flamed out before we got a chance to watch him shine.
But 2010 has been different. Rose shot a blistering 66 on Sunday at the Memorial to beat Rickie Fowler by three shots for his first PGA Tour victory. The problem was, that win came a little too late, and Rose wasn't allowed in the field at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open, even though he had just won one of the biggest non-major tournaments of the year.
It was a strange situation for Rose, and golf fans in general, as the 30-year-old Englishman was playing some of the best golf of anyone in the world, but wouldn't be invited to the second major championship of the year.
That was his first bad moment of 2010. The second came on Sunday, when Rose wasn't named to the European Ryder Cup team. A strange decision by Colin Montgomerie (but not a bad one, per se, since he had so much talent to pick from), but it came after Rose had picked up his second PGA Tour victory in early July at the AT&T National.
Two wins in a span of a month, and Rose wouldn't be invited to represent his team at the Ryder Cup.
I've asked this question a couple of times about Dustin Johnson's 2010, but it is worth bringing up to Rose: Will this season be one he remembers as positive or negative? Sure, Rose did two great things by winning marquee events, but not making the Ryder Cup team by captain's selection is something that won't sit well over the next few months.
Sure, you can argue that if he really wanted to be on the team, he could have played his way onto it, but it's still not going to be much fun to be watching on television instead of competing with your fellow Europeans. After the U.S. Open snub, Rose went out at the Travelers Championship and nearly won the event, posting early rounds of 64-62. Maybe this week, at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Rose could find that little bit of aggression again and stick it to Monty.