Pressure? That’s just an eight-letter word that doesn’t feature in the vocabulary of Justin Rose.
The Englishman is one of the big favourites to win the Claret Jug at Carnoustie this week but far from being weighed down by other people’s expectations, the world No.3 says he’s relishing them.
“I feel like you've got to be a big boy and you've got to be able to handle that,” said the former US Open champion. “If you want to play at the top level, that's what you've got to live with. I've got no problem with that.
“To win a tournament, you want to stay as free as possible, as loose as possible. You want to try to keep it as simple as possible as well because that's when your best golf tends to come out. So, [from] Thursday [until] halfway through Sunday, that's kind of the mindset, and you've got to click into, ‘Right, now's the time. Now's the opportunity.’ Then it's about finishing it off.”
Whilst many people believe Carnoustie to be the toughest test on the Open rota, Rose has a slightly different view.
Asked to rate it on a scale of one to ten in terms of how its difficulty compares to its nine fellow Open hosts, Rose said: “I'd say it's a six or seven. I like this golf course. I think it's a fair golf course. I don't see it as tough. I don't feel like it's much tougher than Birkdale, Muirfield, or Turnberry and this. Those four might be amongst my favourites because I see them as very fair venues.
“In 1999, it got a reputation for being incredibly tough because of the set-up. You can make any golf course as tough as you want if it's set up like that. “But I think this week we're going to see good scores. I think it's going to be the perfect test. If you're playing well, you can score around here.”