Rose nurses shoulder entering Doral golf

 

Special to the Miami Herald

Going into this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, Justin Rose has had to shoulder a burden — literally.

Rose, the Cadillac champion from two years ago, has been battling a suspect shoulder, a malady that made him withdraw from the Honda Classic this past week.

With Honda done, he said he’s completely ready to play this week’s Doral tournament, running Thursday through Sunday on The Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral.

He will do it without complaint about the shoulder.

Rose, the No. 7-ranked golfer in the world, is the type of person who thinks excuses are useless, and good shots leave you without any reason to make excuses.

Talking, which Rose does very carefully and very well, means a lot to him. It’s the same as executing a golf shot — he also does that very carefully and very well.

Rose, who was born in South Africa and moved to England at age 5, started playing golf at that age. He is a five-time winner on the PGA Tour and last season, he accomplished one of his primary goals of winning a major by capturing the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.

That made him the first English player to win a major since Nick Faldo in 1996.

It was not an easy climb to that pinnacle. He missed the cut in his first 21 professional events. True to his personality, although there were doubts in his mind about his future making a living playing golf, he persevered. And it has paid off.

Indeed, it has paid off — some $29 million-plus in earnings. And, yes, that does not include endorsements.

Of missing the Honda Classic and his shoulder, Rose said, “I could have soldiered on through last week, no problem. But do you want to be doing that this early in the season when you’re trying to get ready for hopefully bigger and better things.’’

Bigger and better things is code for two words: The Masters.

Most of the golfers in the Doral field will have an eye looking toward Augusta National in five weeks. And that includes Rose, no matter the circumstances of his shoulder.

“The shoulder is definitely getting better,” he said. “I wouldn’t call it 100 percent, but I would call it on the way there.”

Rose even said he came “very close” to playing at Honda. “I’ve played very well at Honda in the past,” Rose said. “I think I’ve been top 5 the last three years. But maybe playing four weeks in a row starting the season ... was overly ambitious.”

He indicated the problem with his shoulder is simple. It’s inflammation.

“It’s just tendinitis,” he said. “The tendon just gets angry if you do too much.”

That’s the layman’s explanation. Rose then gave the medical explanation.

“I need to basically put my scapula in a better position so the tendon doesn’t keep hitting the bone. That’s what is irritating it, so there’s a lot of re-patterning, a lot of boring sort of gym work and what-have-you.

“It’s a repetitive sport. It’s a repetitive injury sport. You do one thing over and over and over again, things are going to give out. I’m 33, coming up on 34 this year, and there’s a lot of miles on the vehicle.”

How many miles?

Rose smiled and said, “I’ve been playing golf every day since I was 5 years old.”

Pairings, tee times, 8D

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