Will practice make perfect for Rose?
Justin Rose will be hoping that practice makes perfect in his bid to win The 145th Open at Royal Troon this week.
The world No.11 arrived on the Ayrshire coast last Tuesday and has been familiarising himself with the course ever since. In essence, the 35-year-old Englishman has taken a leaf out of the books of Americans Tom Weiskopf and Justin Leonard – both of whom won The Open at Royal Troon – and is hoping the experience will hold him in equally good stead.
Weiskopf spent eight days on the links before play got under way in 1973 and Leonard copied the approach 24 years later. It meant that both players unlocked some of the secrets of Troon, so that they knew almost every hump and hollow of a course Arnold Palmer once described as a “narrow torture chamber”.
“I’m hungry and ready to go,” Rose said. “I’ve altered my preparation slightly in trying to figure out what might be a great opportunity for me to do well this week. It’s a tournament I’d dearly love to win.
“I have spent all week up here at Troon. I felt that if I went back home it would be very easy to get caught up in seeing people and getting distracted and not spending as much time on my game as I need to. Each time The Open comes around, I just really think about what’s going to be the best way for me to perform.”
Rose, who finished tied fourth as an amateur in The Open at Royal Birkdale in 1998 and has yet to better that achievement, was unable to play earlier this summer because of a herniated disc in his back but he says he is fit again and ready for a fresh start.
“I’m at the point where I’m focusing on my performance rather than just trying to get fit,” he explained. “I always see the Major Championships as two-week spells. That paid dividends for me at Merion (where he won the US Open in 2013) and I feel that separated me from a lot of the other guys that week.
“I’ve seen the course in both winds and feel like I’m rounding into form. I feel ready and excited.”