Rose renews love for The Open with incredible weekend
When Justin Rose was standing on the 18th tee on Friday afternoon, one shot outside the cut line, it simply looked set to be his latest in a long line of disappointing Open performances.
Fast forward 48 hours and Rose had remarkably finished in a tie for second at Carnoustie and claims his love for The Open has been renewed, with a future lifting of the Claret Jug most definitely in his sights.
It started when he birdied 18 on Friday, continued with a magnificent third-round 64 and culminated with an equally impressive 69 on Sunday, as the rest of the field dropped shots in the windy conditions.
That was good enough for the 37-year-old to end at 6 under par, tied with Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele – two shots behind 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari.
For a man with Rose’s outstanding record – 2013 U.S. Open champion, 2016 Olympic gold medallist and a 22-time professional tournament winner – just one top 10 at The Open since bursting on the scene with a T-4 and the Silver Medal back in 1998 is a meager return.
But that has all changed now in the Englishman’s mind and he wants to step into Molinari’s shoes.
“How I played at the weekend just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament,” said Rose. “It proves that I can win The Open. When I'm in the hunt, I enjoy it and I play my best golf.
“I don't back away, I really enjoy it and it was great to get the crowd behind me. I hadn't felt the energy of the crowd for a while in the Open.
“That was a real positive for me, and it renewed my love of The Open.”
The 18th at Carnoustie was Rose’s friend all week – he birdied it in every round, including that all-important three on Friday just to make the weekend. So is it his favorite hole on The Open rota?
“After birdies on all four days, it has to be right up there for me now,” admitted Rose. “I birdied it in different ways, too.
“On Sunday, it wasn't really playing that beast of a hole that it can. On Saturday, I hit driver, 5-iron, which is more the Carnoustie 18th hole that we know. I feel like I birdied it all ways, which makes it special.”
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