Rose 'hungry' for more
A "hungry" Justin Rose is relishing sneaking into Augusta National under the radar as he looks to claim a second major title in the US Masters.
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Rose contests the first major of the year as the reigning US Open champion following his emotional victory at Merion last year, but has gone largely unnoticed this season.
The 33-year-old has recorded just one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in 2014 and missed the cut in his last event with a second round of 79, but after overcoming a shoulder injury feels he is among 15 "strong favourites" to win a green jacket on Sunday.
"I think my chances are good," said Rose, who was fifth here in 2007 and has led at some point during every round without leading when it really matters.
"I feel like it's a golf course that I've played well and played some great rounds on. The course suits my eye.
"From the European perspective, as with what happened for me at Merion, it can be any week for any of us. There's a lot of great players and a lot of great players are probably due as well. So maybe the fact that it has not happened for quite a while, potentially the odds tend to go in your favour.
"Missing the cut at Bay Hill was disappointing but at the same time it makes you more hungry in a way. I haven't missed a cut for a long time and it's a little bump in the road that reignites your focus and your work ethic and determination, and so it often can be a good thing."
He said:"I think I'm in a great place coming into this tournament. I'm coming in as a major champion, but I'm coming in with no hype, no expectation, a little under the radar and I feel good with where my game is at.
"Results-wise this year I have nothing particularly to hang my hat on other than I know how my game is feeling and how things are shaping up. That's ultimately the most important thing, how you feel internally about things.
"I always dreamed about winning majors, plural, as a kid. Winning at Merion was amazing and there's been a period of time where you adjust to that and you've got to figure what's next, and I feel like I'm at that place now and I feel very energized for this year and beyond.
"I'm coming into this week with a similar preparation to how I came into Merion. I did a lot of my work the week or two prior to the tournament and went back and practiced what I felt I was going to need. Then you turn up at the tournament a little bit later, a little fresher.
"In the past I've always tried to get ready for Thursday and now I try to get ready for Saturday and Sunday. I try to assume my game will put me in contention and I try to get ready for that."
Rose was just one shot off the lead in the final round in 2007 when he double-bogeyed the 17th hole, so it was no perhaps no surprise to hear his description of that hole without the iconic Eisenhower Tree, which was removed in February after suffering storm damage.
"It looked great," he joked.