Anyone who has followed the careers of Adam Scott and Justin Rose would not have been in the least surprised to see the two men follow one another into the Major Championship winner’s enclosure.
Born 14 days apart in July 1980, the 32 year olds have shared a few parallels on their way to the very summit of the game, starting with the maiden professional victories at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa which thrust them towards golfing stardom.
Such is the nature of both players’ global schedule, it was somewhat fitting that a co-sanctioned event between The European Tour and the Sunshine Tour would provide the launch pad to Major Championship glory for both men.
Scott was the first to walk through the door in 2001. Embarking on his first full season as a professional, the Australian started his European Tour season in South Africa and was soon reaping the rewards as he pipped Rose to the title by a single stroke to secure the first of 21 professional victories to date.
Not to be outdone by his friend, Rose returned to the magnificent Leopard Creek Golf Club 12 months later to finish what he had started as he finally banished the memory of 21 consecutive missed cuts at the very beginning of his professional career to secure an emotional victory.
Like his victory at Merion last week, Rose dedicated his breakthrough win – which was achieved in the city of his birth, Johannesburg – to his father Ken, who was at the time suffering from the leukaemia which would claim his life later that year.
Having both won their first European Tour events in South Africa, Scott and Rose began a steady ascent that just over a decade later would be rewarded with their hands on one of golf’s four most acclaimed prizes.
They both became regular winners on The European before expanding their golfing horizons to include the US PGA Tour. Having found their feet in the USA, Scott and Rose began to climb the World Ranking once again.
Scott’s first win in America came at the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2004. That same year he collected the Players’ Championship, and soon the inevitable question being asked of the Aussie was: ‘When are you going to win a Major?’
It would take Rose a few more years to reach that level, but he followed Scott to that exact point when he won the 2010 Memorial Tournament, a victory which was quickly followed by another at the AT&T National.
As that question kept rearing its head, so the pair continued to push towards their ultimate target, with further proof of their Major-winning potential provided by their first World Golf Championship successes, with Scott winning the 2011 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational before Rose, somewhat unsurprisingly, followed him with victory at the 2012 WGC – Cadillac Championship.
And so to 2013, and the final step towards the fulfilment of the talent, potential and dreams which the pair has carried all of their lives.
It is testament to both men’s character that Scott and Rose are still remembered fondly in South Africa for their breakthrough wins at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
As they have proved so consistently throughout the past 12 years, both are Major Champions in every sense.