What did Rose take away from his success on that day?
It might surprise you.
Certainly, he enjoyed making those putts and celebrating the improbable European victory, but he was also in awe of Mickelson’s reaction.
“It’s imperative that inside the ropes the players honor the tradition of the game in terms of sportsmanship and fair play,” Rose said. “And there’s no one better at doing that than Phil Mickelson.
“When I watched the tape of my match with him and how appreciative he was of my ability to hit those shots down the stretch, it was amazing,” Rose said. “He tried his hardest, absolutely. He wanted to win that game as much as I did. I saw him applauding my play, and he was not cheering for me in any way.
“He was just appreciative. He was shaking his head, ‘Oh, my goodness, what do I have to do here?’
“He is a true sportsman.”
Rose and Mickelson are both entered at this week’s Doral, and maybe they will talk about that showdown at Medinah — then again, maybe Mickelson might want to ignore that subject.
Not all of Rose’s golf life has been Ryder Cup and WGC-Cadillac championships. There have been difficult times.
In his first 21 tour starts, Rose did not make the cut.
“I don’t really remember much about that part of my career,” he said. “It was clearly a tough period that I think I blot out.”
One thing Rose will always remember, and cherish, is the scene after winning last year’s Doral.
His son Leo, 3 at the time, was intent on helping Dad celebrate.
“He’s a little firecracker,” Rose said with a grin. “He was running round like the crazy kid he is. He was in the bunker on 18 during the prize ceremony, and he was interrupting my press conference. Typical boy. It was great.”
Then Rose put his priorities in perspective, and it’s not just hitting a small ball a long way.
“I want to be a good dad and husband,” he said. “That’s what is really important.”