The first name on most European golf fans’ lips, once America had routed their visitors 19-9, was Justin Rose and how he couldn’t have found a place on Padraig Harrington’s side.
Rose was overlooked in favour of Shane Lowry, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia and, given his recent form and previous in the Ryder Cup, it was a decision that grew stranger as the week went on. Hindsight being wonderful thing and all that..
His last start was the sixth place at Wentworth, otherwise there were top 10s in the Masters and the PGA, but overall it wasn’t a stellar year and it wasn’t enough to get him over the line to Whistling Straits.
“When I walked off that last hole I felt good about things but I quickly got the vibe it wasn't so good,” Rose told the Telegraph. “There was just a weird atmosphere on that Sunday afternoon. In the players’ lounge, all the vice captains were around Padraig [Harrington] and yeah, I got a bit of a strange feeling. I was discovering I’d dug myself a hole deeper than I realised. And I’m not going to lie, I was gutted.
“It was interesting, maybe I could have done more in that final run of tournaments, but it was a slightly awkward time for me as well, in terms of not playing at Crans and in Italy. I’d won the Payne Stewart award and as I didn’t feel I could turn down his family with such a big honour. It was difficult to know what to do. But the two events in which I participated in the month leading to the picks - in the Northern Trust and the [BMW] PGA Championship - I played well and could have won both. I felt like I was rounding into form and I'd done what I needed to do. Clearly, I'd loved to have played my way in automatically but my goal leading up to it was to be playing well.
“There's one thing being picked but the second part is you need to win points. And that's what I was preparing myself for. We'll never know now but it was a hard team to make in the end. Padraig definitely had clear ideas on who he wanted and it is what it is. It is just another lesson to me that when you put yourself in other people's hands you can't control the outcome. My history with selection confirms that.”
Rose has never received a captain’s pick and notably missed out in 2010 when Colin Montgomerie also gave him a swerve.
“My record in the Ryder Cup is as good as anybody's really, breaking it down, points-wise. But this was a hell of a team the lads were up against and I'm under no illusions - if I’d made the team winning points would certainly not have been a foregone conclusion. My reaction to all this has convinced me that I still have the hunger.”
As for the future Rose is trying to see the positives having watched the action from Wisconsin,
“Of course I did, I love the 1st tee and the unique atmosphere. By the Sunday, it was a hard watch and you can look at the young Americans and predict doom. But that doesn't fit in with my theory of the Ryder Cup that I’ve held for a while. Medinah skews the event massively. It was really only one day out of the three that we had any joy. We were getting beaten heavily.
“But somehow we prevailed and so we could then say ‘well, Europe has won five of the last seven’ and talk about dominance. However, there was a home win at the start of that run and at the end and now only that outlier, that miracle, stops it from being parity in the last 15 decade. So, no, I don't think there's reason to panic. The home-course advantage is a big thing. The fans as well. And the new generation is refreshing and energising, but at 43 years of age I’ll definitely still have plenty to offer in 2023. It will be a mission of mine to make Rome. It already is.”