Ryder Cup: Justin Rose talks pressure and passion

Published:

Justin Rose has played in three Ryder Cups and has a phenomenal record, taking starring roles in the victories at Medinah and Gleneagles. In 2014 he was the home side’s talisman, undefeated in five outings. Two years earlier he produced one of the many Miracles at Medinah, staging a late singles comeback by sinking 10, 35 and 15-foot putts on the last three holes to defeat home hero Phil Mickelson and break US hearts.

The 2013 US Open champion is chomping at the bit to get stuck into the Americans again, but believes Europe will need to produce something extraordinary to retain the trophy on American soil...

I have a feeling that every round I play in America the galleries will be chirping up about the Ryder Cup and Team USA. It’s on everybody’s minds and I’m excited that both teams are beginning to take shape. I think both will have a slightly new look – that’s inevitable because there’s always a changing of the guard. But I really feel that however the teams look on paper isn’t that important: at the end of the day it’s about how you can go in there, the commitment, the passion, and all that stuff. I think it’s going to be a rowdy one, a tough one, a hard one.

For the past 15 years it looks like it’s been a pretty one-sided contest. But I think they’ve been a bit unlucky and feel like a lot of the Ryder Cups have been very close, making our dominance a bit misleading. So there is zero complacency from my point of view going into this and as a team we need to wipe the slate clean, there’s no looking back and we need to build a whole new body of work and come together once more. We have so much evidence of what has worked which is good news – the key is to replicate those things and go in with absolute steadfast belief that we can keep our noses in front.

Gleneagles was probably the most clinical of all recent Ryder Cups. We looked the winning team from day one and felt like the winning team from day one. I think on paper for the first time ever we were the strongest team. It just felt like we weren’t the underdogs anymore. We played really well and it was just a very solid performance whereas a lot of the other Ryder Cups have been nip and tuck and we’ve just managed to come out on the right side, which is pretty amazing and every credit to the lads. But usually it’s a close-run affair and it always comes down to a putt or two. It’ll be close again and there’s so much quality on both Tours – there’s so much strength and depth these days that generally it is very tight. It will come down to good decision-making and belief in the players.

The pressure is on no matter what. It’s the Ryder Cup and it doesn’t matter whether you’re the defending champions or whatever, the pressure is on. It’s how you frame it and that’s going to be our role as a team: what story we’re going to tell ourselves to get ourselves playing the best golf, and we’ll figure that out in the weeks leading up to it.  Captain Darren’s job is to galvanise the team and get us boys standing shoulder to shoulder.

We’ve got the right man at the helm. We had a nice dinner at Sawgrass altogether and that was the beginning of getting excited about the Ryder Cup. We lean on Rory and Henrik as key players in the team. I forged a great partnership with Henrik last time when we made up a record-breaking partnership and we get on really well on and off the course. I’d welcome the opportunity to partner him again.

Rose's Ruder Cup Record:
● Played 14: Won 9, Lost 3, Halved 2
● Defining Ryder Cup moment: He made a snaking 35ft birdie putt at the par-3 17th at Medinah to level with Phil Mickelson who had just chipped to gimme distance. Rose then sealed it with a 15ft birdie putt at the last.
● He makes the team by virtue of being fifth on the world points list.