Justin Rose soared onto the world stage in golf at age 17 when he tied for fourth as an amateur in the 1998 Open Championship.
The day after that tournament ended, Rose decided to turn professional and would miss the cut in his first 21 consecutive starts as a pro.
Unlike most young stars who experience the lumps that come in the professional ranks before hanging up a once promising career, Rose has worked tirelessly to become one of the best players in the world today.
The highlight of Rose's career -- which includes five PGA Tour wins and six European Tour victories -- was his win at Merion in June in the U.S. Open. It was Rose's first major triumph.
On Tuesday in Dubai where Rose is playing in the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship, European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady awarded Rose a lifetime honorary membership in recognition of his U.S. Open win.
The European Tour has doled out a total of 47 lifetime memberships over the years, including Graeme McDowell (2010) and Rory McIlroy (2011) after each player's respective U.S. Open win.
"For a kid who started his career with 21 missed cuts, I guess this means an awful lot really," said Rose in the report. "And the whole journey could not have been done without all the hard work of The European Tour. It's great to be back here in Dubai and great to have a chance to be playing for The Race to Dubai. Like I said, this truly does mean a lot to me.
"It's been a great journey," Rose added. "There are many, many fantastic players who have done so much for European golf who have received this honor, so it would be wonderful for me to be able to do the same. I've got a lot of great golf ahead of me, I hope, and a lot of great golf on The European Tour ahead of me. So I look forward to living up to this honor."
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.