Golf

Justin Rose primed for US Open defence

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Rose says he is "trending in the right direction" (©GettyImages)
Rose says he is "trending in the right direction" (©GettyImages).

Justin Rose has been in good form recently without winning and with the defence of his US Open title now less than a month away the Englishman is eager to collect a trophy for his hard work. 

Rose, 33, became the first major winner from England since Nick Faldo in 1996 when he wrapped up his maiden title at Merion last year, and he is moving in the right direction with Pinehurst upcoming on June 12 with fifth and fourth-place finishes in the last two weeks. 

He also salvaged a 14th place at Augusta National last month but despite showing an added consistency to his game, he has yet to claim a win on the PGA Tour this season. 

But he told BBC South Today: "I'm trending in the right direction. It's all about picking up a trophy now."

The South Africa-born professional also admitted it feels different arriving at major tournaments as a champion.

"I've played three majors now as a major champion. I think turning up to majors having won one does feel different. 

"You've got that extra bit of confidence that if you find yourself going down the stretch on a Sunday, you've got a lot of positive experience to draw on," he said.

Rose ended a 43-year wait for an English winner of America's Open - after Tony Jacklin's 1970 triumph - when he fought off Phil Mickelson in Pennsylvania, but has failed to register another mark in the victory column since. 

However, his showings at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow a fortnight ago coupled with his impressive finish at last week's Players - won by Martin Kaymer - suggest he will certainly not give up his US Open crown without a fight. 

And he will be drawing on his previous triumph at Merion when the second major of the year kicks off in North Carolina.  

"I've not really been able to recreate that opportunity but hopefully Pinehurst will do that for me. 

"You know you've done it before, you know you've hit those shots under pressure before. I think that's when it will help me."

As well as notching an another big individual success to his CV, qualifying for Paul McGinley's European Ryder Cup is another top priority for Rose having never played a home match against the USA. 

"It's a big goal of mine to make the team as I've never experienced a home Ryder Cup. To play in front of a home set of fans would be amazing and I relish that opportunity." 

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Topics:
US Open Golf
Justin Rose
PGA Tour
Ryder Cup
Golf
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