Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

The Open: Justin Rose ready to bloom due to growing stature after big victories

On form: Justin Rose outlines his Open ambitions yesterday

England's Justin Rose believes he is now at the optimum stage of his career to cash in at the majors.

The 2013 US Open champion arrived at Hoylake looking for an impressive treble after winning successive tournaments on either side of the Atlantic as he followed his Quicken Loans National title with victory at the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen on Sunday.

While he would desperately love to win his home major, particularly on English soil, Rose is not limiting himself to targeting just the Claret Jug.

Which might be wise considering since he famously finished fourth as a 17-year-old amateur in 1998, Rose has not recorded another top-10 finish in 11 attempts, missing the cut in three of the last four years.

"I think it's always easy after two wins to get carried away and say you're playing the best golf of your life," said the 33-year-old.

"I'm definitely more experienced and I think that begins to swing the pendulum in your favour and experience plays a huge part in being able to capitalise upon your best golf.

"In 2010 I was probably playing just as well as now but four or five years on I'm probably a little bit more equipped to deal with the big situation and I have a lot more positives now under my belt: Ryder Cups and major championships.

"I've been at the top end of the game now for a couple of years I suppose so that brings a lot of confidence.

"I said actually when I was 30 that was in my mind, the next 10 years from that point were going to be my prime.

"That was going to be when I was either going to live up to whatever, Birkdale back in the day, or I wasn't.

"It was the time for me to do. There comes a point when you've got to stop learning and start doing.

"You stay fit, you stay healthy, and there's a long time and many opportunities left for me to win many majors."

His recent form means Rose tees off at Hoylake tomorrow as one of the favourites and he believes last week's win on the links in northern Scotland was a turning point.

"My Open record is not particularly good and that would suggest there definitely needs to be a change of mindset," he added.

"That happened for me last week. I played the Scottish Open to get more familiar with links golf. I've come into this tournament the last few years playing links golf but doing it by myself, trying to find different venues to get the feel of it.

"But I really felt like it was important to get the scorecard in my hand last week and do it under meaningful conditions.

"I've got my eye on improving in this championship.

"I've had a couple good opportunities; I felt like I played very well at Turnberry (2009) and had I putted better, I think I would have gone close there.

"Muirfield back in 2002, had I had a bit more experience I think I'd have done a lot better job.

"I hope now being more experienced that will be the case."

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