Justin Rose opens up on applauding the NHS from afar, supporting online fundraising efforts with fellow celebrities and why the Ryder Cup should not take place behind closed doors.
Justin Rose has been joining in the weekly ritual of applauding the NHS at his home in the Bahamas. Thursday 8pm in the UK is Thursday 3pm on the Caribbean island and it is when Justin Rose has been showing his appreciation for the service which supported his father Ken during his long cancer battle.
“We live on a marina and there are some apartment buildings around it. My wife Kate has formed a WhatsApp group and we rally the neighbours to get out on their balconies. The boats in the arena honk their horns and we hit some pots and pans and make a bit of noise for a few minutes to give our thanks,” said Rose.
“Having travelled all over the world you appreciate the NHS even more. It’s not available everywhere. It’s something we are proud of in the UK and rightly so.
“My dad got sick and needed a lot of care and the NHS did a brilliant job for him over a couple of years when he was in and out of hospital.
“My wife’s mum suffered with breast cancer so was a huge beneficiary of the system. Kate was actually a volunteer for the NHS after seeing the great work that they do and the need which is there.”
Next week Rose will be taking part will be taking part the NHS Charities Together Cup – an all-star FIFA 20 tournament set up to raise money to help the fight against the coronavirus.
“My son Leo is angling to play for me which I am all for because I will be absolutely rubbish and completely out of my comfort zone but it’s a small way to help the cause,” said Rose.
Rival players include Ben Stokes – who hopes to draw Rose.
“Oh boy,” said Rose. “Leo idolises him so that’s good; the problem is he will probably root for Ben Stokes.”
Rose, meanwhile, has called for the Ryder Cup to be postponed rather than played behind closed doors – because he wants the satisfaction of silencing the American boo boys.
A fan-free Whistling Straits in September could represent Europe’s best chance of a successful defence of the trophy Rose helped win in Paris in 2018 but the Englishman would rather take his chances on a packed venue a year on.
“Nothing would be more satisfying than winning in front of an American crowd baying for their team. Wait and win, I’d say,” said Rose.
“If there’s no crowd in some ways it would be a big advantage for the European team because the Ryder Cup has gone with home course advantage for the past 12 years and the crowds are a big part of that. Only Medinah bucked the trend and that was really only the Sunday – for the other two days we were getting trounced.
“But I don’t think it would be the same playing behind closed doors. The standard of golf wouldn’t be any different – it would be just as important to use to win – but we feed off the crowd. There’s almost a bit of acting up to them for the players.
“The Ryder Cup has become a different beast over the past 20 years and the players and crowds love it the way it is.”
Rose is less bothered about the prospect of playing in front of vacant galleries on the PGA Tour when it resumes in June.
The first four tournaments will be played behind closed doors and after missing three cuts out of four before the shutdown he will be straight back out on Tour.
“I need to make some points to resurrect the season so I need to get out quickly. I’m keen to get going,” he said
“If the PGA Tour was able to start on June 8 I would be there. I don’t have qualms about being involved if they deem it to be safe. The first three events on the schedule look like fun ones to play.”