JUSTIN Rose enjoyed the best day of his career last Sunday – playing a pivotal role as Europe mounted a stunning comeback to win the Ryder Cup.
The north Hampshire golfer beat four-time major champion Phil Mickelson in Sunday’s singles as Europe overturned a 10-6 deficit to record a fabulous 14½-13½ victory at Medinah, Chicago.
It was an incredible performance by Rose, who won the last two holes with birdies to claim victory over Mickelson, a result that levelled the overall scores at 11-11.
Europe won the top five singles matches and eight out of 12 overall to win the Ryder Cup, making it a great, and historic, occasion for former Robert May’s School pupil Rose.
“It ended up being the best day I’ve ever had on the golf course,” he said. “If we had lost 14½-13½, I would have come away proud of the team, thinking we’d given in a great run, but the fact that it went our way makes it the most incredible day I’ve ever had.”
Rose endured mixed fortunes over the first two days of the competition. He teamed up with good friend Ian Poulter to win foursomes matches on both days, but tasted defeat when playing alongside first Martin Kaymer and then Francesco Molinari in the fourballs.
However, it is the Hook man’s remarkable singles encounter against Mickelson that will live longest in the memory.
The match looked to be going first one way and then another over the course of the 18 holes. Rose looked in control when he won the first two holes but Mickelson drew level by winning holes four and five. Twice more the north Hampshire player got his nose in front, only for the American to draw level and then take the lead at the 14th.
Rose clung on over the next couple of holes and then produced two moments of magic to win the match, holing a putt from 35-foot to win 17 and making a second birdie in a row at the last to claim victory.
It was an exceptional display from the 32-year-old – and he hopes that the experience can help him claim a first Major title.
“When I am in a high pressure moment, I now have this to draw upon,” he said. “It’s really good to know.
“If you can do it in that arena, you can do it in any arena. There’s no bigger and better feeling. On a personal level, I need to take that forward and believe in myself.”