JUSTIN Rose will begin his Open Championship campaign as the man in form after securing back-to-back titles for the first time in his career.
The north Hampshire golf ace followed up his victory at the Quicken Loans National by winning the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open last weekend – and he is now the bookmakers’ favourite to lift the Claret Jug.
The Open Championship gets under way at Royal Liverpool today. It’s the tournament that Rose dreamed of winning as a child – and the former Robert May’s School pupil believes he has a real chance of making his dreams come true.
Rose said: “Winning a major is never easy, no matter what the circumstances are.
“The goal is to trust my game, get a good game-plan going, not get ahead of myself, and get to the first tee on Thursday fresh and ready to play.
“If I commit to all the things I know how to do, then I’m going to give myself a good opportunity.”
The north Hampshire golfer shot four rounds in the 60s to win in Scotland last weekend, ending the tournament at Royal Aberdeen on -16.
Rose said: “Had I not won in Aberdeen, I think this week would have been a realistic opportunity, and I don’t feel it’s any less realistic because I won last week.
“I would say the odds go more in my favour, because of the confidence and experience of doing that the last couple of weeks.”
The Open is, of course, the tournament that launched Rose’s career back in 1998, but his record at the championship since he finished fourth as an amateur is not great.
That remains his only top-10 finish, while the former Robert May’s School pupil has missed the cut at five of the 11 Opens he has played since, including three of the last four.
Despite this, and because of his excellent form, Rose goes into this year’s event as the bookmakers’ favourite.
The world number three did not compete when the Open last visited Hoylake back in 2006, but feels that the course offers up a fair test.
Rose will play his first two rounds alongside Australian Adam Scott and Jason Dufner of the USA.
The trio will get their tournament under way at 2.27pm today, before teeing off their second round at 9.26am tomorrow.