The 2011 season held much promise for Justin Rose. Coming off a two-win season in 2010 when he captured both the Memorial Tournament and AT&T National on difficult and major caliber golf courses, you could only think that Rose's career was on the fast track.
But 2011 turned into a blur of lost opportunities and a balky putter, yet with two rounds left in Chicago at the BMW Championship, Rose has a chance to make 2011 a stellar year, potentially better than his breakout year of 2010.
"I think my strategy this week has been almost conservative," Rose said after a second round 68 and a second round tie with Mark Wilson. "I've taken the chances when the golf course has presented them to me. But I think it's more of a mental shift. It's not putting pressure on yourself, it's not getting frustrated out there, it's having the ability just to stay a little more patient, and I think that's what I'm feeling this week."
Rose maintains that his year of ball striking would have been good enough to win, but his putter has let him down. Now he enters a situation where if he can convert over the next two days the Englishman would enter the final playoff event in Atlanta with a very good chance of winning the FedEx Cup and the $10 million that goes with the cup.
" If you do pull this tournament off, you've got a great chance to win the FedEx Cup," Rose said. "That's the exciting thing about the Playoffs as it offers that opportunity for everybody, which is why the way guys get eliminated as we go stage by stage, it's critical just to keep yourself in it because if you have a hot week, you're within a great shot."
But there are two rounds left and Rose will have to do something he has struggled to do all year, put a full four good rounds together. If he can, Rose will establish himself as one of the favorites in Atlanta.
If Rose falls short, he still will have a chance in Atlanta, but not a good chance. Either way, Rose is in much better shape on after the second round then he was on Thursday morning.
"I came into the week with a mindset of nothing to lose," Rose said. "At the start of the week, I wasn't in Atlanta, so go for it basically. I think I need to keep that attitude for the rest of the weekend. There's nothing to lose."
Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.
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