PGA Tour

Rose looks forward to defence

Justin Rose (AFP)
Justin Rose (AFP)

Wentworth - US Open champion Justin Rose believes the re-design at Pinehurst can help him successfully defend his title when the season's second major is staged their next month.

Rose won the title at Merion outside Philadelphia last June from Phil Mickelson and Jason Day ending a 17-year drought for English golfers in majors.

He will have to give the trophy back shortly after having it in his bedroom for the last two weeks so he could see it when he wakes up in the morning but is aiming to bring it home with him.

Pinehurst has undergone some major design changes, including a reduction in the rough, since 2005 when it last hosted the US Open - won then by New Zealand's Michael Campbell.

Rose did not play in that tournament and insists that players who did will not have a head start over him.

The 33-year old said: "I have never played Pinehurst and guys who played in 2005 will not have as much of an advantage because of the re-design.

"There was a lot of rough in 2005 and typical USGA-style fairways. But this year it is going to play more of a running game, more of a mix between a US Open and a British Open Championship I am led to believe.

"I had not been to Merion at this stage last year so my preparation is going to be very similar. I am going to head up to the venue the week before, spend some time, get to know the golf course and put a game plan in place as I did at Merion.

"The important part is you see the course the right way and you develop your strategy. You have got to try to play to a number and if that number is 8-under you build your strategy accordingly."

No.1 in sight

Rose, who revealed his son Leo ate ice cream out of the US Open trophy, has also set his sights on topping the world rankings after peaking at number three following that US Open win.

Rose is currently ninth in the standings which feature a new number one - Australia's Adam Scott who knocked Tiger Woods off the top this week.

Rose, 1.8 points behind Scott, is currently at Wentworth ahead of the European PGA Championship which starts on Thursday and knows a good showing here would put the number one ranking in sight.

He added: "It is a career goal of mine. I have not put a timeline on that one but I think it is more achievable than it has ever been now than it has ever been.

"If I was to win two weeks in a row that would put me right up there around world number one. So it is achievable in a very short time for me.

"My form is good. I am playing well and have had three top-10s in a row and I feel like there is more to squeeze out from my game.

"It would be great to win leading up to Pinehurst - I feel like my game is in good shape to put up a good title defence there."

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