Bethpage (United States) (AFP) – Second-ranked Justin Rose says he still has multiple major wins within him and wants to start proving it this week by ending England’s century-long drought at the PGA Championship.
“I feel like I’m still waiting for my run in the majors,” Rose said Wednesday. “I’m still waiting for a hot run where I can hopefully get an opportunity to put two, three, four away quite quickly.”
The 2013 US Open winner and 2016 Rio Olympic champion was third at Quail Hollow two weeks ago, his sixth top-10 finish in 10 US PGA starts this season, including a victory at Torrey Pines in January.
But the 38-year-old Englishman missed the cut at last month’s Masters and expects Bethpage Black to be among the toughest tests he has faced in 17 PGA Chmpionship starts.
“It’s probably one of the most demanding PGA Championship setups and venues that I’ve seen in those 17 years,” Rose said.
Not since Jim Barnes in 1919 has an Englishman won the PGA Championship, but Rose, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood are among eight English players ranked in the world top 40 who could manage the feat.
“There’s plenty of talent and firepower. Just need a bit of lady luck and the stars to align,” Rose said. “I would love to be the guy to get over the hump.”
Rose, a runner-up at last year’s British Open and the 2017 Masters, hopes a second major victory would launch a run of them that his triumph at Merion six years ago did not, but time is ticking.
“I still feel at this point in my career, second major and then on from there will kind of define my career,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of other really cool things alongside my major championship win, but more majors equals a better career, there’s no doubt.”
Rose said he peaked too soon in his Masters preparations, changing tactics for the PGA after missing the cut at Augusta National.
“Sometimes you have to trust being mentally fresh is the most important at a major championship,” Rose said.
“I felt like at Augusta I did so much work in the run-up and early in the week that on Tuesday my game peaked, and then it sort of dropped off, whereas major championship golf is all about playing well on the weekend.
“Making a mistake is fine but learning from it is really important.”
– Rose in hunt for No. 1 –
Rose is among four players who could overtake top-ranked American Dustin Johnson for the world number one spot this week, including defending champion Brooks Koepka, four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and Masters winner Tiger Woods.
“It has been nip and tuck between me, Brooks, DJ for quite some time,” Rose said. “All of us have played at a really consistent level, winning a couple of times, a lot of top 10s, but no one has really dominated.”
Rose sees low scores available at Bethpage to long hitters but warns that staying consistent will be difficult.
“There’s a great round out there for sure but doing it every day is going to be a challenge,” Rose said.
“This is the kind of golf course where maybe you’re looking at 30-40 guys that can win this tournament based on the length. Driving the golf ball and distance will be a really big advantage this week.”