Would Justin Rose Take a Career Do-Over?

Justin Rose
Justin Rose during the final round of the Turkish Airlines Open at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort on Nov 5, 2017 in Antalya, Turkey. (Photo by Warren Little via Getty Images)

Justin Rose birdied the 72nd hole on Sunday to win the Turkish Airlines Open – his second win in as many weeks, and the 16th of his (getting close to Hall of Fame) career.

At the champion’s press conference, the 37-year-old Englishman brought up an interesting question, related to his career.


Having burst on to the golf scene in the 1998 Open Championship, at the age of 17, big things were predicted from Rose.

Justin Rose Wins 2002 British Masters
Justin Rose poses with family – left to right:, Anna (Sister), Margaret (Mother) and Ken Rose (Father) – after winning the Victor Chandler British Masters at the Woburn Golf & CC on the Marquess Course in Woburn, England on June 2, 2002. (Photo by Warren Little via Getty Images)

Yet, from 2000 through 2009, aside from a couple of solid seasons, his game was mostly pedestrian. These were the years that many expected to see the young Rose lifting all kinds of trophies.

In fact, by late May 2010, Rose was two months shy of his 30th birthday, owning a resume of disappointment: winless on the PGA Tour, and just four victories in Europe – two of which occurred some eight years prior in 2002.


Then on Memorial Day weekend, 2010, he won at Jack’s Place for his maiden title on the PGA Tour, and Rose’s career took off. He won again a month later at Tiger’s old D.C. tournament – the AT&T National. And from there, the then 30 year old was off to the races.

Justin Rose Wins 2010 Memorial
Justin Rose poses with his wife Kate and son Leo after winning the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village GC on June 6, 2010 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Scott Halleran via Getty Images)

Over the next seven seasons, Rose would amass a combined 12 PGA and European Tour titles, including two World Golf Championships, the 2013 U.S. Open, and an Olympic Gold Medal.

Despite all he’s accomplished over the past seven years, there is little debate that Rose wasted some of his early prime years.


When asked where he thinks his career sits at this point in history, Rose answered it by bringing into play an interesting question.

Justin Rose Wins 2016 Olympic Gold
Justin Rose poses with his Gold Medal after arriving on a British Airways flight from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to London Heathrow Airport on Aug 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood via Getty Images)

“I mean, someone said to me: ‘If you could do it all over again, if you could wipe the slate clean right now and do it all over again, would you?’ It’s a good question. I’m not sure I would,” said Rose.

“It’s been 20 years of hard graft, hard work and I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve achieved a major championship. I’ve won Olympic Gold. I’ve won a lot of other tournaments. I’ve had some great moments.

“To kind of try to do all of that again from a fresh, clean slate, that would be a daunting task. I’m kind of happy with where things are at and there’s a lot more I believe I can achieve. I think I’m coming into a nice part of my career where there’s a lot of experience under my belt and there’s a lot of learning that’s being done. I feel fresh, I feel healthy and I feel motivated, more importantly.”

The question that Rose raised is certainly intriguing. One could argue that if Rose were start over, he’d easily out-perform the career of his 20s. But that’s the easy part.

Justin Rose Wins 2013 U.S. Open
Justin Rose poses with the championship trophy after winning the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn. (Photo by Bill Streicher for Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The real risk is would it be enough to guarantee enough hardware and history to offset what he’s accomplished in his 30s? Winning professional golf tournaments on the PGA and European tours is not easy, especially 16 of them, not to mention a U.S Open and a gold medal.

And how many players have been as successful after the age of 30 as Rose? Not a heck of a lot.


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