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« Two Minor 2013 U.S. Open Quibbles... | Main | Things Are Going Well In Rio... »

Justin Rose's Win: Vindication For Sean Foley, England

Nice story by Steve DiMeglio on Justin Rose's win as vindication for the often unfairly criticized instructor Sean Foley.

The criticism has been relentless at times, which Foley, by the way, deflects with ease, so much so that Rose, even while holding the U.S. Open trophy was asked if the victory was affirmation of Foley's instruction.

"I feel like my golf game has gotten better and better every year. I've picked up distance and I'm hitting the ball straighter. And for me to come into a U.S. Open and feel like this is one of my legitimate chances to win a major is a testament to my ball striking. So I got to give a lot of credit to Sean," Rose, 32, said. "I would say it's more than just a player/coach relationship. I regard him as a true friend and I regard him as someone who, if I ever had a question upon golf or upon life, he would be very much at the top of my list.

"He's a very mentally, I think, a very interesting character and very strong mentally. And he passes that on as well."

John Huggan also looks at this as a big win for the English male golfing contingent who were beginning to wonder if they would ever win a major in the 21st Century. He also points to a Derek Lawrenson interview with Rose prior to Merion where the U.S. Open champion made this frank statement:

"If we're really honest, I think it has now reached the point where it's down to the fact if we (the English) can handle the pressure we will win a major and if we can't, we won't."

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Reader Comments (43)

In all fairness, Orlando is his home. He spends about as much time in England as Tiger Woods.
He has a flat in London. I think it is a bit more than an accommodation address.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Ernie Els has a house at Wentworth west of London, doesn't make him a Limey
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morris
Another U.S. Open victory for South Africa!
06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
fyg, Peter Alliss was born in Berlin, but is English. What is your point ?
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold

Rose was born in South Africa and spent his first five years there. Seems to me that South Africa can take some pride in that.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
So Germany can take pride the Alliss was born in Berlin ? Doesn't work that way.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Lennox Lewis was born in England to Jamaican citizens and moved to Canada early on, yet the Brits claim his fine accomplishments.

How is this much different from Justin being from South Africa?
06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
We are the World! We are the children. Yup, Albert Einstein was right, nationalism will be the death of mankind.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMacDuff
When a Yank doesn't win, the Yanks try to claim or discredit the nationality of the winner. Answer me this, Phil from somewhere...who was Rose playing for in the last crushing Ryder Cup defeat of the USA?

Nuff said.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMulligan
@ Mulligan, one thing for sure, he (Rose) wasn't playing for Orlando! Good line.
Lennox Lewis publicly stated that he considers himself English (despite many Brits, myself included, being very cynical about his reasons).

Justin Rose clearly considers himself English, per the article above.

Just the same as John Mcenroe no doubt considers himself to be from the US despite being born in West Germany.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStiggy
Okay, okay, you guys can have it.

I mean, what has it been, 43 freaking years?

06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
Is this really the discussion on this thread? Bizarre nonsensical jingoism ftw.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt
From what I remember, Foley was just questioned about his teaching leaning towards Stack and Tilt. But he was really "attacked" when Woods signed up with him. I think anything associated with Woods will be questioned if not derided. I would think McIlroy would not have been so ridiculed if he had signed with Callaway but his being with Nike, and good relationship with Woods, opened him up for a lot of criticism. But that aside, good for Rose and good for Foley if Foley did indeed influenced Rose's golf game.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
Lennox Lewis can be from any country he wants to be. I am not telling him any different, that's for sure.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKS
Annie Park is part of the Foley stable. She just dominated the NCAA's for USC. Foley is on a complete roll.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
People can be whatever nationality they want. Who are we to tell them differently (see Rory). Congrats to Justin on a great win.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
By the way at what point do we admit that despite carrying a murse, and talking in psuedo-scientific verbiage rather than old school yarns, Foley might know what he's doing?
06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
elf, the fact that Justin pays cold hard cash for Sean's counsel just might be a hint...
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

Speaking of which, what's the going rate for a swing coach on the professional level? Is it a flat-rate retainer, retainer-plus-bonus, or some other arrangement?
Justin Rose was born in South Africa of English people who were living there at the time; he was raised in England by his English family. If they had been working out in Japan, would you consider him Japanese?

If the South Africans want to take a part of this victory, bless 'em. I think his first professional win might have been out there. But it does not make him less English.
06.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
When Mahan and Rose perform the Foley swing--centered over the ball, no sway, efficient use of the body--it looks elegant and relaxed. When Tiger attempts it, it's just not him. His natural swing--low and slow, glide back into his right side, then unleash an uppercut onto the ball--why fuck with it?
06.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterhighside
I suppose this does validate Foley to some extent. But let us not forget that Rose already possessed a solid short game before he ever got together with him, which is so very important when making changes on the full swing. Mahan is (and always was) the opposite of Justin in terms of long vs short game prowess. Tiger used to have the total package, but since the takedown by Yang and his other "troubles"...he's hit or miss with both sides of the game.

Whatever nuggets of knowledge he's dropping Tiger's way, I wonder if anything will be enough to get him rolling the ball where he wants it come weekend during the Majors. Tiger appears to be sorting thru alot of mental scar tissue on the greens. You can see it in his tempo. Faster than how he stroked in 10+ yrs ago. Try putting a penny on the back flange of yer flatstickTiger...and keep it there until the ball is rolling. Won't hurt to try.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Justin Rose is english through and through. End of.
Solid short game and PGA Tour card are mutually inclusive. After that it's simply degrees of excellence.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBuffy
If you look closely at what Rose says, it's pretty clear that he is emphasizing the mental strength coaching that Foley has done with him, not the swing work. In fact, Rose rejects the Foley wipe with his natural swing, whereas Mahan is now so locked into it that the result was a near baseball swing horizontal follow through in this latest (failed) outing. Kind of an interesting twist that made me smile watching Rose win -- it occurred to me that part of Foley's method may be that a player only becomes truly himself when he rejects the Foley wipe and rises above it... <g> Are you listening, Mr. Woods...?
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
@johnnnycz: +1 on "Tiger appears to be sorting thru alot of mental scar tissue on the greens. You can see it in his tempo. Faster than how he stroked in 10+ yrs ago."

Stroke used to be slow and silky. Stricker helped him find it again this year, but it was in smaller situations when he was more relaxed. He gets almost twitchy now when real pressure is on.

Also, it's interesting that Rose's putting coach, Orr, isn't getting big props for the big jump in his putting, and not incidentally his winning.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
@ highside - because his left knee exploded?
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPGT
RLL, hadn't heard of Orr, good catch.

"Through his swing coach, Sean Foley, Rose made contact with Orr and arranged for two days’ tuition when he was at his lowest ebb in June."

Looks like Foley gets credit there as well ;)
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I'm all smiles, Del.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
And I will add a post scrip about Foley. I actually admire many of the things I've heard him say about the mental aspects of the game -- even the ones that others seem to find weird or wonky. I think they show an interesting take on the nature of sport and competition, and how personality plays into talent and learning.

That said, I still hate the mechanics of the swing he seems to impose on players. And I still think it's all but destroyed the greatest short game ever in the sport, namely TW's. If he encourages him to move on to someone else, then I'll really offer up some kudos to him...

06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
Do you really believe, anyone, imposes, anything, on Tiger Woods? ;)
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I do, absolutely. In fact, I find it surprising that those who have followed him since he was a small boy don't acknowledge that that's been the way with him since Earl first put a club in his hands. As I've talked about before, he seems to need such a disciplinary figure in his life. It's as surprising to me as anyone, but it's the reality. I mean, think of how many of the game's greats have been saying to him for a while now, you're Tiger Woods, man, you don't need a swing coach, just go out somewhere alone and do it. And yet, the whole "scandal" thing revealed that when the discipline of his early upbringing was no longer present in his life, his impulses on his own were disastrous. In an odd way, the weirdness of the way his personality comes across makes people uncomfortable because it's so baby-ish for a guy who has accomplished so much in the world. And yes, my own weird hope is that Foley somehow helps to get him personally to manhood by rejecting the Foley golf swing. That's sort of what I was trying to say tongue in cheek about the possibility of Foley smiling at Justin Rose's rejection of the "swing" even while valuing Foley's personal advice and knowledge.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
Sorry to keep doing postscripts, but this is, after all, a conversation, I guess...

Meant to end by saying, remember, it was Foley's text to Rose early in the week that told him to step up and be the man that both his father and his own kids would be proud of. And then at the end when Rose did just that, his first reaction was to look up to tell his dad he did it, and his second thought (which NBC cut off, but TGC later showed...) was directed into the camera at his kids.

My guess is that made Foley truly happy.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
More bad news for Yanks....Foley is from Canada.

But, so is Justin Beiber and Celine Dion :( .
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMulligan
Where were Justin's children born.....Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women & Children?
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Sure looks like Justin is following Feherty's lead to American citizenship...

LG&M, no idea, but I bet the numbers are eye-opening.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@RLL keep in mind that Haney said Tiger only incorporated some of what he taught him (to Haney's frustration). Tiger and Butch split up because they couldn't find a middle ground between Butch telling Tiger what to do, and Tiger deciding what to do etc. But most people work better when they have a sounding board, and someone giving them other ideas.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
True. One little aside in Haney's book that I also found amazing though was that Tiger often struggled with issues of confidence. A lot goes on between athlete and coach, and I like hearing about what goes into performance among the elite who succeed . It's often surprising and personal.
06.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL

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