Did Justin Rose throw it away? We take a look back over the events of the 2017 US Masters to look at whether the Englishman let this one slip through his fingers
Did Justin Rose Throw It Away?
From the very beginning, this US Masters was a battle of strategy and patience. The strong winds of Thursday and Friday meant the fine line between triumph and disaster at Augusta was even tighter than usual. There are few golfers more patient, strategic and professional than Justin Rose. And with six holes to play, it looked as if the Englishman would finally get his hands on a Green Jacket. So what happened? Did Justin Rose throw it away?
For long parts of the final round, this US Masters looked like it belonged to Justin Rose. Where Garcia seemed tentative and unsure, the Englishman was calm and controlled. His imperious long game had manoeuvred him into position. Now was the time to finish the job. The Green Jacket, it seemed, was in safe hands.
But Augusta National has always been the theatre of the unknown and it all changed when the Spaniard delivered a miraculous par on the birdieable 13th. It galvanised the 37-year-old, breathing fresh confidence into a swing that had started to look increasingly fragile. Having birdied the 14th his incredible eagle on 15 placed Justin Rose back under the microscope.
To his credit, Rose responded with a birdie of his own at 15 and a hammer-blow birdie on 16. Once again he was in the box seat – standing on the 17th tee this was his to lose. Again. In the end however, it was his putter that deserted him. Masters Champions tend not to miss makeable putts on 17 and 18 but that’s exactly what Rose did. These were far from gimmes but given the quality of golf being played by his opponent, Rose needed them. Badly.
In truth, his putter had been lukewarm all week. Rose rarely found himself out of position during the tournament, his long game laying the foundation for his challenge. But Augusta has always been one of the fiercest examination papers for the putter and as close as he came and as well as he putted at times, it was a test he ultimately failed. Did Justin Rose throw it away? The answer a rather complicated yes and no.
Can Justin Rose come back to win the US Masters? Absolutely, but make no mistake about it, this will hurt. Majors are often decided in the finest of margins and so it was on the final day of the 2017 playing. Once the dust has settled he will reflect on an incredible performance, one that gave him a golden chance to win. If he can improve his game on the greens, even by a small amount, Justin Rose will surely get across the line at Augusta. Few would begrudge him the honour.