UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington (Reuters) - Winning the 2013 U.S. Open gave Justin Rose a massive confidence boost in his ability to handle pressure and he believes it is only a question of time before he claims a second major crown.
The English world number five has landed two more victories on the PGA Tour since his major breakthrough at Merion and heads into this week’s U.S. Open at the links-style Chambers Bay with his game in sparkling order.
”I was very, very pleased and proud to win this one,“ Rose told reporters on Wednesday as he reflected on his two-stroke triumph at Merion. ”Since then, I feel like it’s been a successful couple of years.
”I’ve kicked on from winning my first major, sometimes it’s difficult to live up to that. I’ve maintained my world ranking, I’ve won tournaments, I’ve done all the right things.
“Augusta (for the 2015 Masters) was another sign this year. I came up against a great Jordan Spieth performance, but it was a sign that my game was capable of winning these big championships.”
Rose tied for second at the Masters in April when Spieth completed a wire-to-wire victory by four shots after matching Tiger Woods’s tournament record low of 18-under 270.
”I feel like the performance I put in at Augusta would have won many of those championships and I got beat by a better player on the week,“ said Rose. ”I‘m doing all the right things, it’s just a matter of everything lining up again in one week.
”There are many great players that have never won a major that deserve to win a major. They’re hard to win.
“Certainly I‘m very grateful for the one I have, and I believe there are going to be more opportunities to win more.”
Rose said that he would try to replicate the unwavering mindset he maintained at the 2013 U.S. Open for his title bid this week.
”In Merion, my mindset was to try to stick as close to par as possible,“ he explained. ”I kind of just stayed with my mindset of being patient and trying to churn out the pars and take your birdies when you can find them.
”That’s going to be very similar this week. I don’t expect scoring to be extremely low, from what I’ve seen.
“There will be birdie chances out there. Like Merion, there’s going to be some drivable par-fours if the tees change, there’s going to be obviously some par-fives that you can reach (in two). It’s just about staying away from the big number.”
Rose, who was beaten in a playoff for the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago in his most recent PGA Tour start, will tee off with world number two Spieth and Australian Jason Day in Thursday’s opening round at Chambers Bay.
Editing by Larry Fine