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Justin Rose wants another blooming good summer

By Mark Garrod

It was not only Graeme McDowell who had the summer of his life last year. So did Justin Rose and now he wants to do it all over again.

The first of Rose's two title defences in the next month comes at the Memorial tournament, starting today at Muirfield Village in Ohio - against a field which includes new world number one Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy.

"I have great memories from last year and it's one of my favourite weeks of the year - even before I won it last year," said the 30-year-old English player.

Rose has been given a car with the number plate "MEM2010" and he said: "When you arrive there's pictures of you all about the place and your locker is in the champions area.

"Just little touches like that make it a special week for sure.

"I feel like my game is in a very similar situation to how it was last year - playing really well without having had the results. I think the key is patience."

He missed the cut in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week after taking nine at his penultimate hole, but the goal is just to feed off positive vibes.

"For me it feels a little bit like going to Augusta every year," he said. "You get there and it's just a place where you want to play golf and it starts to exude good feelings and good energy."

Rose admits he is disappointed not to have won since the AT&T National last July - he did not even make the Ryder Cup team, of course - but added: "I think I've made huge gains in a lot of areas.

"I'm playing beautifully. I'm second this year in greens in regulation, which is a stat that I've never really done well in the past.

"I'm seeing a lot of other tangible signs of improvement that haven't necessarily related to me being in the winner's circle."

On Donald's rise to the top spot in the rankings - Rose reached sixth three years ago, but is currently 29th - he said: "His level of consistency is incredible and he thoroughly deserves to be number one. I was pleased for him last week."

Meanwhile, McDowell defends his Wales Open title at Celtic Manor, starting today, and despite the presence of only three of his Ryder Cup team-mates - Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez - he is not one to downgrade the importance of the next four days.

"There's no doubt that some tournaments create their own intensity level on the first tee on a Thursday morning and perhaps others don't," he said.

"But that's the art of scheduling. I want to be up for every tournament I play in.

"Every tournament counts in the world rankings and it's important you turn up every week wanting to play."

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