Justin Rose warns of ‘rising tension’ over Saudi waiver decision

Justin Rose may be at a point in his career where he feels the need to be “selfish” but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll fade into the shadows.

© Justin Rose in action during this week’s Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course in Nassau, Baham …

At the end of a disappointing year, which included a real hammer blow as he missed the Ryder Cup, the Englishman is feeling good about the 2022 campaign.

For some of the best players in the world, a first assignment will be the Saudi international, but only if they get a waiver from the PGA Tour and European Tour to compete in an event that is now part of the Asian Tour.

Rose, who appeared in two of the three editions of the Saudi event while on the European Tour calendar, is not on a list of confirmed players for the $ 5 million tournament in early February, but, along with many others, he is monitoring the situation.

© Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson during the 42nd Ryder Cup at Golf National in France in 2018. Photo …

“I think if the PGA Tour maybe doesn’t give out the outs, I think that will only exacerbate the tensions around what is trying to happen in the world of golf right now and among the players,” declared the 2013 US Open champion.

This tension is caused by Greg Norman, in his new role as CEO of LIV Golf Investments, who has $ 200 million for a Saudi Arabia-influenced Super Golf League proposal that the PGA Tour and European Tour would prefer not to. not materialize.

“In my mind, the PGA Tour has to keep the players on the side,” added Rose, who, at 41, is able to offer a knowledgeable perspective on the matter.

“Clearly Saudi Arabia is controversial, but I have been there and enjoyed my time there. It is actually a fun golf tournament and a good golf course. Look, they’re trying to take a more socially acceptable stance on their policies and you’ve got to start somewhere, right? “

Two-time winner Dustin Johnson heads this roster of confirmed players along with Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, with Olympic champion Xander Scheatele also pledging to be at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City.

“The players deserve the opportunity to play around the world and also to capitalize,” said Rose, who has won titles in Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia. “Guys like Xander and (Open champion) Collin Morikawa deserve the chance to play in the Middle East and show their games.

“It’s good for growing golf and it’s part of your responsibility as a talented young golfer who is doing incredibly well to do his best. A lot of these guys are now the idols that kids look up to and if you can showcase yourself in different markets it can only be good.

“A lot of young Americans have the opportunity to stay at home because the tour is really great. So I think it’s good for the golf world that they are traveling. I think it’s really important.

READ MORE: Henrik Stenson ready to ‘put on the big shoes’ if asked to be Ryder Cup captain

Speaking in the Bahamas during the Hero World Challenge, Rose also gave her take on the European Ryder Cup captaincy, which is on hold after Lee Westwood excluded himself from the 2023 match in Italy due to the makes him still in the top 50 in the world and feeling a long way from believing his winning days are over.

“I thought it was Westy’s, so I’m slightly surprised, but my mind says good things about him,” Rose said. “If you look at conventional wisdom, when you’re in your fifties, now’s a great time to have it. If I look at it myself, I’d love to do 2030 when I’m 50. But, if I did. play well then, it must be sacrosanct, really.

“I noticed Lee on social media recently and he trains hard, works his game and is always looking for speed. Looks like he’s making the effort. It’s one thing to say I still want to play well, but he actually gets the job done.

“The minute you think about retirement you’re on a slippery slope and I kind of understand where he’s at on that, to be honest. If he still feels like he can produce great golf then maybe the Ryder Cup captain is showing you think you’ve got one foot out of the door already.

Henrik Stenson, Rose’s main Ryder Cup partner in five appearances, is now one of the main contenders for Padraig Harrington’s succession, with England’s Luke Donald also reportedly in the game.

“There aren’t a ton of viable options when you think about it and Westy has probably thrown a wrench in the works for a few guys now,” Rose said with a laugh, thinking it would have been Westwood in 2023., Ian Poulter in 2025 at Bethpage Black and Graeme McDowell at Adare Manor in 2027.

“Henrik is very organized, has tons of experience and no effort would be overlooked in terms of preparation. I have been by his side to earn points on several occasions and he is a fearless competitor with a big heart. He also has this dry sense of humor and that would be a good laugh under him too.

No matter who is in command in Rome, Rose is determined to return to the trenches. “It made me more selfish about what to do with my game and not try to appease others and play in places that don’t necessarily suit me like I’ve been doing for 15 to 20 years.” , he said of missing the loss at Whistling Straits.

“I have to take care of my game now and I think that’s what I achieved. Before next season I have to make some good decisions about where I want to play and have a schedule that works for me.

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