Justin Rose has had a storied albeit heartbreaking history at the Masters over the course of his career.
Notching five top-10 finishes, including a pair of runners-up in the last four years, Rose will enter this week’s Masters Tournament with a familiar face alongside as longtime caddie Mark “Fooch” Fulcher returns to the bag after being sidelined following heart surgery in January of this year.
“I know time has been going very slowly for him and he’s been chomping at the bit to get back, but he’s stayed very much integrated and engaged in my game,” Rose said on Monday during his pre-tournament press conference. “One of his best mates out here on Tour is Gareth Lord (who has been filling in for Fulcher) and they have been communicating a lot with what has been going on. Fooch has come down to see me on my weeks off on a couple of occasions.”
— Justin ROSE (@JustinRose99) April 8, 2019
Regarded by many caddies as the hardest loop on Tour, Augusta National will be no easy re-indoctrination for Fulcher, but he got many of the back slaps and “welcome backs” out of the way a few weeks back at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play where he followed Rose outside the ropes at Austin Country Club.
Rose reassumed the top ranking in the world this week, the goal Fulcher set for his buddy Lord and his boss.
“Foochy said I have to give him back at world No. 1,” Lord told ESPN’s Michael Collins in January. “I said I’d do my best.”
Now, with his man back on the bag and the major championship that he’s come closer to winning without raising the trophy than any other will have another chapter in a storybook ending should Rose slip into the green jacket on Sunday evening.
Rose enters the week as a 12/1 bet to win. He has five top-10 finishes in seven starts during the 2018-19 season, including a victory at the Farmers Insurance Open.