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Justin Rose is ready for the Ryder Cup
JUSTIN Rose is hoping to cap an excellent year by helping Europe to victory in the Ryder Cup this weekend.
The best golfers from Europe and America are all at Medinah, near Chicago, for the 2012 edition of the sport’s most prestigious team event, which gets under way tomorrow.
Rose, who grew up in Hook, goes into the event as one of the men in form. He claimed the biggest win of his career at the Cadillac Championship earlier this year and climbed into the top five of the world rankings for the first time this week after finishing second at the Tour Championship last week.
The 32-year-old excelled in his only previous Ryder Cup appearance four years ago, winning three of the four matches he played and beating Phil Mickelson 3&2 on the final day.
Despite his efforts, Europe lost the match – and Rose is desperate to experience that winning feeling this time around.
“I would love to be part of a celebrating team on Sunday evening, to be part of the joy, the jumping around and the bouncing,” he said. “What I’ve witnessed on TV over the years, I’d love to be part of that.
“The Europeans have been dominant since 1995. There’s been two losses in that time and one was the one I played at Valhalla. I would love to rectify that for sure because two years is a long wait to have the opportunity to do it again.
“It’s nice just to be part of the Ryder Cup because it’s one of the greatest sporting events. To be an athlete or a professional sportsman competing in that sort of area is what dreams are made of.”
The eventual outcome is too close to call, with both teams boasting players at the top of their games.
Rose said: “I think it’s set up for a great week. There are two great teams, with every player in the top 40 in the world, so it’s probably as strong as it has ever been between two teams.”
Rose warmed up for the Ryder Cup with a strong showing at the Tour Championship, the finale to the American season.
He was in contention throughout the event. An opening round of 66 (-4) and two rounds of 68 (-2) meant Rose was in a share of the lead going into the final day.
However, the former Robert May’s School pupil was always chasing eventual winner Brandt Snedeker after bogeying holes five and six, while he missed four putts from inside 10 feet on his way to a one-over-par round of 71.
He did manage to hole out from 14 feet at the final hole to secure second place, a result that moved him up to sixth in the FedEx Cup standings and won him more than $1.6million in prize money.