Golf: The Path to Perfection

David Cannon / ALLSPORT / GETTY

NIRVANA: Rose hopes to experience again the joy of this moment at Birkdale 10 years ago

When the British Open was contested at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in 1998, Justin Rose, a 17-year-old English amateur, finished in fourth place after holing a 40-yd. (36 m) pitch shot on the final hole. The defining image of the tournament was of Rose smiling at the heavens after his improbable shot, his arms raised in jubilation. Pundits and players alike predicted that he would be golf's next great champion.

But as miraculously as it appeared, Rose's form deserted him. After Birkdale, he went on to miss 21 consecutive cuts in professional tournaments, trailing the leaders by such...

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