Why Justin Rose Turned Down LIV Golf
On paper Justin Rose is made for LIV. The Englishman is now 42, his game was going the wrong way and he has had a history of back problems over the years. In Ryder Cup terms he is best known for his partnerships with Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter, both who now play their golf on Greg Norman's circuit, and his major starts were in danger of becoming fewer and fewer.
But the new champion of Pebble Beach, the first winner from Europe to prevail in the iconic pro-am, stayed loyal to the PGA Tour in the hope of getting back on the game's biggest stages. He will now play in this year's Masters, as well as the other three majors, which will likely bolster his hopes for a sixth Ryder Cup appearance.
“Access to the major championships is a large part of my decision to be playing where I’m playing, for sure,” Rose told The Telegraph. “Obviously playing in events like this that have a great history, that give access to iconic golf courses, all of those things. Winning events that really matter.
“Yeah, but first and foremost playing in major championship golf. It’s something – I have won one, but that’s where my childhood dreams lay. Having access to that was really, really important to me going forward.”
As for the DP World Tour Rose was being typically fair-minded, seeing both sides of the coin. The former US Open winner chose not to play in the Desert Swing events or the Hero Cup as he planned his assault on 2023, a strategy that has already paid off nicely.
“It’s (LIV) definitely strengthened European Tour events, if you’re looking at it from a field point of view and things like that,” Rose added. “Part of me thinks you’ve made a decision, you should just get your head down and stick with that.
“But at the same time, a lot of these guys have given a lot to the European Tour over two decades. Maybe that should count for something too. So, listen, I try to keep my nose out of it because a lot of them are my friends and they remain my friends. I don’t judge their decision because everyone has their own parameters for what makes a good decision or not."
Rose was overlooked for the 2021 Ryder Cup when Padraig Harrington went for Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Shane Lowry as his three wildcards and he is already eyeing up making it onto Luke Donald's team in Rome in September.
“I felt like what was really important to me was getting off to a good start on the PGA Tour so I wasn’t under pressure later in the season, so I could turn my attention to the Ryder Cup and the European Tour as and when that becomes the important part of the phase of the season,” he said.
“So the plan’s gone pretty perfectly. Three really good solid weeks out here and I built a platform now to be able to look at the rest of the year in a much more positive light and start earning points.
"I'd obviously love to play my way onto the team. But I wanted to be a player that if I’m playing well, Luke has to consider and feel good about being part of this team.”