There is no doubt that Justin Rose is enjoying one of the finest moments of his career. The world number one has tallied 10 consecutive years winning tournaments all over the world, in Europe, Asia and America. At the end of January, in winning the Farmers Insurance Open, he became the third European player since World War II to secure 10 wins or more on the US PGA Tour, following in the footsteps of Sergio García and Rory McIlroy.
Unquestionably European, he was actually born in South Africa (Johannesburg), although very early on, when he was five years old, his family emigrated and settled in England, where the young Justin Rose started to play golf seriously at a club near his home in Hampshire. Seriously, because at just 11 months of age he was already hitting balls in the garden of his South African home with a plastic club that his father had bought him. His golfing skill was evident as he grew up: at 11 he carded his first round under 70 and at 14 he had a plus-one handicap.
At 17, and his name was catapulted into the world media spotlight when he finished fourth - playing with Fred Couples - in the 1998 British Open won by Seve Ballesteros, earning the Silver Medal as best amateur. The following year he turned professional.
His early career on the European Tour was not as fruitful as he would have desired. In the 44 tournaments he played in 1999 and 2000 he did not achieve any top-10 finish (having missed the cut in his first 21 consecutive events). Better results would start arriving the following year: two second places and four top-10s. And in 2002 he began to realise his dreams, with no fewer than four triumphs: Dunhill Championship and British Masters in Europe, Nashau Masters in South Africa and Chunichi Crowns in Japan. He had seven top-10 finishes, and ended the season ninth on the European Tour order of merit.
In 2003, Rose began to combine his play on the European and US Tours, highlighted by fifth place in the US Open. He repeated this combination the following year before, in 2005, opting exclusively for the United States, where he secured three top-10 results. The following year he continued playing in the US and other areas, winning his fifth title, the Australian Masters.
In 2007 he returned to the European Tour, where he won the Volvo Masters in Valderrama and the Australian Masters and finished second in three tournaments, totalling nine top-10s in all. It was no surprise, therefore, when he was crowned number that season on the European Tour order of merit.
He had to wait a while for his next victory, the 2010 Memorial Tournament on the US PGA Tour, but since then he has won at least one tournament every year. On the PGA Tour, he triumphed in the 2011 BMW Championship, the 2012 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, the 2013 US Open (his first and the only major to date), the 2014 Quicken Loans National, the 2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, and the 2018 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and Fort Worth Invitational, plus the Farmers Insurance Open this year. His other international victories have been the 2014 Scottish Open, 2015 UBS Hong Kong Open, 2016 Olympic Games (gold medal), 2017 Indonesian Masters and 2017 and 2018 Turkish Airlines Open.
Almost a Green Jacket
His success in Grand Slam events, as a professional after his incredible debut as an amateur in the 1998 British Open, has so far been limited to just the aforementioned victory at the 2013 US Open, when he beat Phil Mickelson and Jason Day. Victory was snatched from his grasp on two occasions: he finished second in both the 2015 Masters, won by Jordan Spieth, and the 2017 Masters, when Sergio García was victorious on their first play-off hole. In the US PGA Championship his best result was third in 2012; and in the British Open, fourth in that now distant 1998.
Winner of the FedExCup last season, Rose was crowned number one in the world ranking for the first time, and he is currently on the crest of a wave, enjoying some of the finest moments of his sporting life. Now 38 and starting the year with a new brand of clubs (Honma), Rose is consolidating the stellar form he achieved in 2018, having – until his triumph at the end of January in the Farmers Insurance Open – accumulated 13 top-10 finishes in his most recent appearances in the PGA Tour, including three top-threes. Thanks to the $8.1 million he won last year (not counting the $10 million bonus that his FedExCup triumph brought him) and the $1.2 he pocketed for his triumph in January, the English star has crossed the barrier of $50 million won on the US Tour.
Olympics Gold Medal
In addition to his 10 victories on the US PGA Tour (the first in 2010), he has another dozen in other countries and on other tours, including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where golf returned as an Olympic sport after a long hiatus of 112 years – since 1904. Rose won the gold medal by beating former Swedish world number one Henrik Stenson by two shots. Justin wrote another chapter in the history of this sport when, in his opening round, he carded the first hole-in-one in the Olympic Games (173 metres with seven-iron).
After inter-changing positions with Brooks Koepka in the world ranking over five consecutive weeks since last November, Rose managed to detach himself from the American at the beginning of January and gain a strong foothold on top spot. Not that he can rest on his laurels, however, because keen to wrest the honour from him, and hot on his heels, are such dangerous rivals as Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.
• When golf is not absorbing his mind and body, Rose spends his time with his wife, former international gymnast Kate Phillips – together they have created a charity foundation to help children from low-income families in Orlando – and their two children, Leo (nine) and Charlotte (six).
• Among the hobbies enjoyed by Rose's – whose residence is in the Bahamas and who also has homes in Great Britain and Florida – are tennis, soccer, cars, architecture and watching movies. His favourite football team is Chelsea.
• His journey on the European Tour before heading to the United States had its ups-and-downs. Among the positives, he was forced to go to the Qualifying School twice; among the positives, he was number one in 2007.