As Justin Rose bids to become the first man to win consecutive US Open’s since Curtis Strange in 1989, the Englishman has spoken of his strategy, the death of his father and England’s World Cup chances.
He began by echoing Phil Mickelson’s point about short-game being the key to success at Pinehurst.
“If you think even-par is going to win, let's just say, then you've got to up-and-down it 31 times,” said Rose.
“Obviously you're going to make some birdies, but that just shows you what a test it is of your short game.”
Justin Rose and his father's death
Rose then reflected on the passing of his father, and the significance that winning last year’s championship on ‘Father’s Day’ had.
"The ability it gave me to feel the presence of my dad once more." - Justin Rose
“Winning the US Open was amazing because I felt really connected to my dad in the moment,” he said.
“The fact he wasn't here didn't seem to matter to me, with my feelings. So that's what I'm most grateful about winning the US Open, that connection, the ability it gave me to feel the presence of my dad once more.”
Rose played poorly at the memorial tournament two weeks ago and didn’t make the weekend. He missed last week’s St Jude Classic too, but believes the rest will stand him in good stead this week.
“I missed the cut at the Memorial, which to be honest, could turn out to be a blessing,” he said.
“It gave me the opportunity to come here Saturday, Sunday and Monday and really look at the golf course. And I enjoy seeing the course.”
Justin Rose on the World Cup
He was then asked lightheartedly about England’s World Cup hopes, but Justin Rose has more faith in the Englishmen competing in America than those in Rio.
“I’m sad to say I think there's probably more chance of one of us winning a major than England winning the World Cup.”
That’s not to say Justin Rose won’t be keeping an eye on how Roy Hodgson’s men are doing in Brazil.
“I thought I could be a little bit of a national hero if I'm leading the U.S. Open and I swerve my press conference to go watch the game. I'm not saying that might not happen.”