Try 66/1 Justin Rose to rebound at St Andrews in 2022 Open

The Englishman will be on the comeback trail next year after his disappointing PGA TOUR campaign ended abruptly and he could be a force in the Majors.

Justin Rose failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time in his career after a gut-wrenching finale at the Wyndham Championship.

After a disappointing season, the Englishman needed a big week at Sedgefield and looked to be responding to the challenge when moving into a share of the lead on Sunday.

But he wobbled down the stretch and three-putted the final hole, his missed par attempt from five feet ultimately costing him dearly.

It left Rose 126th in the standings and only the top 125 made it through.

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So what now for the 41-year-old?

Readers of Keith Elliott's influential 'Golf Form' betting books may recall an angle called the 'Comeback Trail'.

Keith revisited it in his 2015 book 'Elliott's Sports Analysis Secrets' and gave this definition:

"The essence of the Comeback Trail is that, after a 'problem period' of failure of a year or more, a proven sportsman will then have extra focus, extra determination and extra commitment as he strives to return to his previous good results and high levels of performance."

Keith picks out examples across a range of sports. They include Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson in golf and other high-profile stars such as Luis Suarez, Andrew Flintoff and jockey Davy Russell.

All dipped but then came back with a vengeance.

After what happened to him at Sedgefield, Rose looks a perfect candidate to have the little 'CT' symbol next to his name for 2022.

In terms of trying to cash in, the best strategy could be to back Rose in the Majors.

Despite his world ranking falling to its current position of 48th (he'd ended 2020 at 35th after sliding from 9th at the close of 2019), Rose has continued to be a force in the game's ultimate events.

In April, he was the halfway leader at The Masters and second with 18 to play before finishing solo seventh.

And in the PGA Championship, he finished fast to take tied eighth.

Add in a ninth place in the 2020 PGA Championship last August and Rose has three top 10s in his last six Majors.

To give some extra context, they represent his three best finishes on American soil since a third place at Colonial in June 2020.

With Rose on the 'Comeback Trail' and still capable of contending in Majors but his current stock low, we have the ideal recipe for an ante-post punt.

The Masters - Augusta National

With six top 10s and two second places, Rose has been a regular contender at Augusta National.

And his love of the tournament shows no sign of abating after his strong showing this year.

Rose's seventh place came after a missed cut in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and tied 54th at the WGC-Workday Championship so it was further evidence that he can raise his game for Majors despite being in sketchy form.

The PGA Championship - Southern Hills

Rose has made the top 10 in the last two PGAs so is a legitimate bet for that too.

He's logged five top 10s overall, including tied third in 2012.

This year the event heads back to Southern Hills and, encouragingly, Rose finished tied 12th when it staged the tournament in 2007.

The Ryder Cup star shot rounds of 70-73-70-69, finishing just three back of those in tied fourth as Tiger Woods powered to his 13th Major title.

The US Open - Brookline Country Club

This tournament was the scene of Rose's first and, so far, only Major win when he landed the 2013 US Open at Merion.

It's a five-hour drive up the east coast from Merion to Brookline and Rose has some good form in the state of Massachusetts where the latter resides.

That comes via a second (2019), a third and a fourth at TPC Boston.

Europeans have done well there in the past. Matthew Fitzpatrick won the 2013 US Amateur at Brookline and, of course, it was the scene of the USA's incredible comeback Ryder Cup win in 1999 (Rose was too early in his career to make the team).

Although Mark James' men lost, Europe were 10-6 ahead after two days before being pipped 14.5-13.5.

The Open Championship

The oldest Major on the calendar heads back to St Andrews and that's good news for Rose.

Although he made his name in this event when tied fourth as an amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998, Rose - somewhat remarkably - didn't make the top 10 in the next 12 Opens he contested.

He snapped the sequence with a tied sixth place at St Andrews in 2015.

That's not his only impressive performance on the Old Course.

St Andrews also stages two of the four rounds at the Dunhill Links Championship and Rose is a former runner-up in that event.

His relationship with the iconic venue goes back further still as he explained in 2015.

"I won the St Andrews Links Trophy around here which is a very prestigious amateur tournament. I've done well in the Dunhill Links. To be honest, I always play the Old Course pretty well.

"I think an Open Championship at St Andrews is the iconic tournament, and it doesn't get any bigger than this for a British player."

Conclusion

A bet on Rose in any of the four Majors is justified and the courses could really suit him in 2022.

But preference is for the Open Championship where his extra guile and experience may be of particular relevance.

Four of the last 10 Open champions were in their 40s while Zach Johnson was 39 when winning the last Open (2015) held at St Andrews.

Rose will be 41 when the tournament is staged on the Old Course next summer.

If the former World No.1 has bounced back strongly from his disappointing 2020/21 PGA TOUR campaign by then, there certainly won't be any 66/1 available.

And therefore, an ante-post punt on 2013 US Open winner Rose for the 2022 Open could just be a smart move.

A nine-year gap between Majors? Well, Phil Mickelson ended an eight-year drought when landing the PGA Championship earlier this year while Ernie Els went 10 years, landing his two Open titles in 2002 and 2012.

It's dangerous to write off these great champions, especially on courses where brain can beat brawn.

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