Be warned: Justin Rose is a solid putter now

Justin Rose Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Be warned: Justin Rose is a solid putter now

PGA Tour

Be warned: Justin Rose is a solid putter now

NORTON, Mass. – There should be an addition to the Rules of Golf that states something like this: “If you are one of the best drivers and iron players in the game, you are not allowed to get good at putting too.”

That might be a little strong, but Justin Rose’s competition at the Dell Technologies Championship might vote for it anyway, because through two rounds at TPC Boston, where Rose has shot 65-67 (10 under), he is not only among the leaders in strokes gained tee to green but also ranks in the top 10 players in strokes gained putting.

Rose’s putting performance is even more impressive when you realize he struggled with his putter last week at The Northern Trust.

“The key is that I had a terrible week on the greens last week, and before I would question my putting, but last week I put it down to not reading the greens well and not getting the speed, let’s just move on,” Rose said. “I’m a lot more comfortable with my putting, in general, this year and it’s been a big turn around for me.”

The chart below shows Justin Rose’s strokes gained statistics since 2013, the year he won the U.S. Open at Merion. Driving and iron play are the foundation of Rose’s game, but as you can see, he has made a massive improvement in putting since last season.

During his second round on Saturday, Rose made a 37-footer for birdie on 13, a 27-foot birdie putt on 17 and a 14-footer from the collar on 18.

Those are great, but it’s also the way that Rose is making more par-saving putts this season, the kind of putts that keep good rounds going and help a golfer maintain his momentum.

Today, standing over a 7-foot par putt on the second hole, he walked up to the ball steadily, went through his pre-shot routine and when the ball dropped into the hole and the crowd cheered, he nodded. There was no fist pump, no sign of relief. Rose expected to make that shot.

“I have more of a process and a routine that I trust,” he said. “Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t go in, right? At least I feel committed to it.”

By Rose’s standards, his 2016-17 PGA Tour regular season was not great, but he got motivated by the FedEx Cup Playoffs and earned a top 10 in each of the four events, including a runner-up finish at the BMW Championship.

“I simplified a few things,” Rose said. “I always play better when I’m taking things away rather than adding things in.”

Rose’s growing confidence on the greens has given him more confidence to play aggressively from the fairway, because for the first time in his career, he has a putter that can get him out of trouble when he makes mistakes with his irons.

“To be honest, it takes away a lot of the frustration,” Rose said. “I’m going to have frustrating weeks on the greens, but I’m having less of them, which overall makes the game more enjoyable and more fun.”

More fun for Rose perhaps, but not for his competition.

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