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Rose is determined to have a Major say in 2019

 

By Phil Casey

World No.1 Justin Rose will have new clubs to deal with next year as he insisted he still relishes the "grind" of challenging for golf's biggest prizes.

A first successful title defence of his career in the Turkish Airlines Open took Rose back to the top of the world rankings, a position he first occupied for two weeks in September.

The 38-year old has now won five times and recorded 24 top-10 finishes in his last 31 events, with such consistency seeing him win the FedEx Cup title and a bonus of $10m (£7.7m).

However, Rose is determined not to rest on his laurels as he looks to add to a glittering CV which includes one Major title, an Olympic gold medal, more than 20 tournament wins worldwide and a crucial role in three Ryder Cup victories.

"I think Phil Mickelson said that he's still hungry to keep moving forward, and I think the minute you start to reflect (on your career), it can kind of soften you a little bit," Rose said.

"It's like when you start thinking about your time, you're done basically. I'm trying to enjoy the moment because moments like these are enjoyable. (But) I love the grind of it. I love that feeling.

"The more I can be competitive, the more I can play under pressure, that's what I enjoy. The reflection we'll save for down the road. The fun thing is I still feel like there's improvement to be had and that's what I'm looking for. I don't know if I'm a bit whatever in the head, but I'm really looking forward to the off-season to work at a few things and get better."

Rose's sole Major title to date came in the 2013 US Open at Merion, but he was second in July's Open at Carnoustie and has twice finished runner-up in the Masters.

"I think next year is going to be about Majors and just overall recovery, maybe not playing too much and being as fresh as I can for those," Rose added.

"At Augusta I'm always there or thereabouts. I feel good there. I know how to play the course. If my iron play sharpens up, which it has done a little bit of late, I think it's a great opportunity for me.

"The Open is not one that I've historically played that great at, but I think I'm ready to break that kind of spell a little bit. Then the PGA Championship, there's no reason why I can't play well."

As for those new clubs, Rose will start 2019 playing irons made by the Japanese company Honma Golf, although he will still use TaylorMade's ball and woods.

TaylorMade is opting to sign younger players and did not renew their deal with Sergio Garcia at the end of 2017, even though he had won the Masters that April.

Rose had spoken cryptically in his winner's press conference of "things that I need to get figured out", but when asked specifically about the change of equipment he said: "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

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