Rose aiming to join British surge
Rose's third place at the Honda Classic was his best result since finishing runner-up to Rory McIlroy in Dubai more than a year ago.
His closing round of 64 equalled the PGA National course record and helped him bank $380,800 in prize money, but it wasn't enough to earn Rose a place in the elite field for this week's WGC CA Championship in the suburbs around Miami airport.
The 29-year-old may have improved his world ranking from 76 to 58, but he must watch on as a group of fellow Englishmen contest the second World Golf Championships event of the 2010 season.
"I'd struggle to make the English Ryder Cup team," Rose admits. "I feel like I'm a pretty good player, so that speaks volumes for how strong English golf is right now."
Rose is a very good player, but has underachieved since claiming the European Tour's Order of Merit with victory at Valderrama in the 2007 Volvo Masters - the same year in which he finished second at the WGC event in Akron - one of three second places he's had in the USA.
Rose splashes out of sand during the Honda Classic - Pic: Getty
His career has always been a start-stop affair with streaks of excellent results that have provided memorable peaks contrasting with troughs of indifferent play that have left him way short of fulfilling his potential.
Rarely has there been any kind of middle ground consistency, so perhaps this third place will herald a spell of inspired results.
They will have to come quickly to enable Rose to play the first major of the year at the Masters. He needs to climb into the world's top 50 and has the Transitions Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in the coming weeks to earn his place at Augusta.
After his closing 64 on Sunday, which began with four straight birdies and followed a third round 67, Rose said: "The funny thing about golf is that if you try too hard to come out and go low it goes the other way. All weekend I felt really relaxed.
"I kind of hit a little sweet spot in terms of enjoying my golf and just staying nice and composed and I think today probably is the most composed I have been for a long time."
Last May, Rose spoke to this blog ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and was saying how he expected to be recording better results very soon.
There is no more approachable guy on the tour and here he was saying the right things, but you could tell the words were hollow.
He sat uneasily, his back was aching - he pulled out of the tournament the next day - and he couldn't convey the message with conviction. Rose was at his lowest ebb and soon after missed the cut at the US Open, the man who had been as high as number six in the world in 2007 was plummeting down the rankings.
This was the point at which he and his coach Nick Bradley decided to part. Rose was no longer buying in his mentor's unorthodox approach and their working relationship hit the buffers.
Results started to turn; he finished in a share of 13th place at the Open and had two top-five finishes towards the end of the 2009 season on the PGA Tour, but at that stage he would have been happier plying his trade elsewhere.
Rose is a player with the talent to be going deep into the FedEx Cup, not needing to spend his autumns with those sweating on keeping their cards.
So where will he be when the leaves have turned this year?
In 2008, he was playing Ryder Cup, but a second appearance for Europe could not be further from his mind at the moment.
"It's something I don't feel like I can focus on right now," he said. "It's a weird thing. I think for me to get into the Ryder Cup, I need to not worry about the Ryder Cup, if that makes any sense? The Ryder Cup will take care of itself if I play well."
Rose's first target must be to cement his place back in the top 50 in the world, then he can choose the schedule that suits him best.
"I see a really big difference with him mentally now," said his wife Kate. "He's excited about what he is working on. He's very positive and he's been playing really well for sometime."
In a period where there has been no shortage of results for British golf fans to celebrate, Rose has been rather overshadowed. Now it seems he may be ready to become part of this success story once again - after his week as a reluctant spectator.