JUSTIN Rose says he is happy to be going into the Masters with little expectation on his shoulders – and the north Hampshire golfer believes he has a good chance of claiming a second major title.
The 33-year-old who won the US Open last year to end England’s long wait for a major champion, has made a slow start to 2014 after suffering tendonitis in his right shoulder.
He has competed in just five events, with his best result an eighth-place finish at the Valspar Championship, and he missed the cut at his most recent event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Rose has slipped to number eight in the world rankings and is not among the favourites for the Masters, which gets under way at Augusta later today.
However, that is a situation that the former Robert May’s School pupil is happy with.
“I’m coming in as a Major champion but I’m coming in with no hype, no expectation, a little under the radar and I feel good with where my game is at,” he said. “Time will tell obviously but I’m feeling good about this week and the rest of the year.”
Rose has a good record at Augusta. He has never missed the cut in eight appearances, finished in the top 10 twice and the top 25 on six occasions.
“I feel like it’s a golf course that I’ve played well and played some great rounds on,” he said. “I think my chances are good.”
Rose will play the opening two rounds alongside Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson. The trio start their first round at 1.48pm (6.48pm BST) today, before teeing off their second round at 10.30am (3.30pm BST) tomorrow.