England’s Justin Rose defends his BNI Indonesian Masters presented by BTN, PT.Lautan Luas.Tbk and Bank Mandiri title this week at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, but today faced a different examination of his game during a pre-event press conference.
A number of local junior golfers fired questions at him and the tournament’s other star players, including his Ryder Cup strike partner Henrik Stenson from Sweden.
One budding young golfer asked: “Early in your career you had a lot of missed cuts but I heard you say in a video ‘so what?’. How did you get that mentality?”
World number two Rose, a man at the peak of his game having also claimed this year’s FedEx Cup Play-offs, gave the perfect advice: “I think it is easy to say ‘so what?’ when you have come out of missing so many cuts but when you are missing the cuts it is a big deal.
“I remember feeling incredibly frustrated and helpless and hopeless at the same time. But I think I started to focus on me. I think comparison is a hard thing. If I started to compare myself to Sergio Garcia who came out and was winning some of his first tournaments as a pro then that was difficult. When I compared myself with other players I felt pretty bad about myself.”
And the Englishman, who claimed last year’s BNI Indonesian Masters by eight shots, explained the best thing he did was focus on his own game.
“I kept it simple and tried to look at my own game. Focus on my own improvement and work hard. Finishing fourth in the Open … that was the one factor that changed my expectations. I said to myself let’s take that out of the equation. Ask, ‘who am I as a player? I am a young talented player’. I knew that and if I work hard, hopefully talent and hard work will take me to the top eventually. So I put my faith in that.”
Rose followed another question with a question of his own: “Two children are playing golf. They are both in the middle of the fairway. The first kid gets up there and hits a five iron into the bunker. And he puts his club back in his bag.
“The second kid gets up there and puts his five iron into the bunker, bangs his club on the ground and slams his club into his bag. Which kid is trying harder?
“It is kid number one because it is so easy to get frustrated. That is the easy option to throw your club. The hard option is to stay cool and focus on your next shot. That is my advice to junior players. Most people say it is kid number two because he is trying harder and showing his emotion but it is not.”
There was no shortage of applause for the 38 year old and it is not difficult to see why his career reached full bloom in early September when he became world number one and followed that up with glory on the Ryder Cup.