Golf

Justin Rose unsure what to expect at Pinehurst before US Open defence

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Justin Rose admits he doesn't know what to expect from a redesigned Pinehurst golf course as he begins preparations for the defence of his first major title at the US Open next month.

Speaking in London's Hyde Park after a 'nearest the pin' challenge to promote the BMW PGA Championship, the 33-year-old was open about the difficult task that awaits as he attempts to retain the trophy he won at Merion Golf Club in 2013.

"I'm not sure what to expect it's a pretty unique golf course," Rose told GiveMeSport. "They've redesigned it since 2005 so I think it's going to be wider fairways than we are typically used to.

"I think it could be more like an Open Championship rather than a US Open. The ball is going to be running and the greens play really small. Even though the surfaces are big the actual mill of the green is flat and everything else kicks off. It's like an upturned saucer.

"It's going to be a real premium on short game, so you're probably going to have to learn to hit some different shots like putting from a long way off the green or hybrid chip and run shots.

"I don't really know right now but I'm going to spend a few days up at Pinehurst trying to figure it out."

Rose became the first Englishman since Tony Jacklin in 1970 to win the US Open last year - ending a 43-year wait for the trophy - and the first English golfer to win any major since Nick Faldo in 1996.

Having now experienced what it's like to win a major, the world number eight is hungry for more success, but insists he is not putting any unnecessary pressure on himself to deliver another trophy.

"There's no value putting expectation on yourself," he explained. "Obviously I'll focus hard on my preparation and I'll focus hard on my game and then I'll focus hard on my mental approach and my commitment.

"You've got to trust that that will get you in contention. I'm not going to force it. You can never force the issue. I'll do exactly as I did in Merion last year. It worked out well for me there - and hopefully it will produce the same situation."

Defending a major is one of the hardest things to do in golf, but Rose is showing all the signs that he'll at least be in contention when action gets underway at Pinehurst on June 12, despite the fact he is yet to win another tournament since his 2013 US Open triumph.

"At The Open Championship it was disappointing missing the cut straight after the US Open but I felt like I had a lot on my plate.

"[The] US PGA I threatened for a little bit and then The Masters I was four back going into Sunday so I've been close. I mean, nothing to write home about but my form is right there.

"It's now time for me to start thinking about winning it again."

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Topics:
US Open Golf
Justin Rose
Golf

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