Now, 15 years later, Rose has come through and finally realized the potential which so many saw in him as a skinny teenager.
"I always believed in myself," he added.
"I had to dig in and keep going. I was motivated by the fact I didn't want to be the one week wonder, the flash in the pan at the Open.
"Golf is hard and has many aspects to it. It's as much a mental game as a physical one. I've probably had the talent for a long time and people tell you that you're good enough to do it but you have to truly believe it yourself.
"And when you can truly believe yourself, that's when you can handle the pressure. In the past three or four years, I've developed a real deep rooted sense of belief.
"There was some scar tissue I had to cut down. Missing those 21 cuts was a traumatic start to my professional career.
"Then I had chances to win tournaments but didn't quite put them away and again confidence can be dented. It has been slow progress for me but I've got a good team around me.
"They keep me on track and together we'll put a good game plan."
With one major title under his belt, Rose will now turn his attention to lifting the Claret Jug and fulfilling a childhood dream.
Ranked third in the world below Woods and McIlroy, Rose believes he is finally ready to compete for another major title.
"Winning at Merion has given me a tremendous amount of confidence," added Rose.
"You hope you're good enough to win a major, you think you're good enough to win a major but it's not until you do it that you know you're good enough to win a major.
"You never know how you're going to handle the moment. I always knew I would create chances to win but there have been great players before me that have had chances that have never been able to quite put it away.
"I feel fortunate to have that monkey off my back. I feel like I've only been ready to win majors in the past year or two. Hopefully now I've now got five to 10 years of good golf left in me. Hopefully I can draw upon that experience in a similar situation."