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Justin Rose: World number six leads promising crop of homegrown talent

Justin Rose: World number six leads promising crop of homegrown talent

Justin Rose's latest victory capped another fine year for UK golf with home success across the globe and at varying levels of the game.

Rose was the standard bearer despite spending many months wondering whether 2017 would prove one of those nearly years. There was a discernible hangover after losing his Masters play-off against Sergio Garcia.

However, the 37-year-old Englishman concluded his season in astonishing style. Never out of the top ten in his last ten tournaments, he romped to a third victory in that spell by finishing 29 under par at the Indonesian Masters, winning by eight strokes.

Rose plays with seemingly unshakeable confidence when he feels he is better than any of his rivals on a leaderboard. He has earned this sense of arrogance through sustained excellence.

It is the fifth time since 2012 he has finished a year inside the top seven in the world. Twelve months ago he had slipped to 15th in the rankings but heads into the new year knocking loudly on the door of the top five.

Even so, the current world number six will still feel that a couple of titles escaped his grasp. The Masters was the prime example but also November's DP World Tour Championship. 

In that Dubai event it was interesting to witness how uncertainty suddenly crept into his play just when eventual winner Jon Rahm, the only player ranked higher than him in the field, charged into contention.

Nevertheless, Rose - the 2013 US Open winner - is long established as golfer of formidable pedigree. He will be targeting his return to Augusta next April with the primary objective of becoming a multiple major champion.

The Olympic golf medallist's near miss at the Masters was the closest the UK came to a major victory in 2017. But there was still much to cheer, even though our golfers probably failed to garner due recognition from the wider sporting public.

There are five UK players in the world's top 18 and English players celebrated no fewer than ten victories on the European Tour. Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton joined Rose in landing multiple triumphs.

Graeme Storm set the tone by holding off Rory McIlroy in South Africa last January while Matt Wallace (Portuguese Open) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (European Masters) celebrated notable victories.

So too did Bath's Jordan Smith at the European Open in July. The 25-year-old Challenge Tour graduate possesses a glorious swing and an enviable winning habit with five professional victories already to his name.

The production line of English talent shows no sign of drying up. Georgia Hall, the 21-year-old from Dorset, won the Ladies European Tour order of merit and finished an encouraging third in the Ricoh Women's British Open. 

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