'You never get comfortable' on opening tee - Rose

Justin Rose (Getty)
Justin Rose (Getty)

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines - Justin Rose believes the first tee at the Ryder Cup presents a unique test of character that challenges even the very best players regardless of past experience.

World number two Rose arrived at Le Golf National this week after pocketing a $10 million (8.5 million euros) cheque on Sunday by winning the FedEx Cup which determines the season-long PGA Tour champion.

The 38-year-old is set to appear at his fifth Ryder Cup, but will be playing in front of home supporters for just the second time, after Gleneagles in 2014.

"I think no matter how many times -- it's once every two years. You never get comfortable with it," Rose, the Olympic champion in Rio, told reporters on Wednesday.

"I don't think you can ever really walk on to that first tee Friday and go, 'yeah, this feels good, or this feels normal'.

"Of course it feels good. You feel alive. I think Jose Maria Olazabal gave us a little memento one year, and it says, 'All men die but not all men live.'

"I think what he meant by that is feeling that adrenaline, feeling that whatever you want to call it, feeling that emotion, I think is what it's all about."

Almost 7,000 fans will pack the giant grandstand on the first hole, a 419-yard par 4 where players will have to confront the roar of the crowd for what is a crucial tee shot.

"I think there's no more intense session than the first morning on Friday," said Rose. "That's why everything is a crescendo there.

"I think from Friday morning onwards, you build into the week and you start to get comfortable. Friday afternoon, you're into it. Saturday morning, it's intense again, but you've done it before the day before, and so you start to build into the week.

"But no doubt that peak on Friday morning is something that you anticipate and you're never quite comfortable with, but that's the beauty of it.

"I think especially this year, the scenes around that first tee will be absolutely amazing. It's the most incredible first tee shot I've ever seen for sure."

- Rest versus rhythm -

Rose was one of six members of the European team competing at the Tour Championship in Atlanta this past weekend, while only Jordan Spieth was not in action for the United States.

Phil Mickelson said being forced to maintain that competitive edge could play to the Americans' advantage, but Rose contended that European skipper Thomas Bjorn would have a fresher group of players.

"I think our team is fresher than the American team, so it's going to be an interesting conversation for sure," said Rose, who holds an 11-6 record with two draws in Ryder Cup play.

"I'm hoping that one of our benefits is that we are slightly more rested as a team, as a collective group.

"They might feel like they are playing their way in and our guys are going to have a bit of gas in the tank.

"We'll have to evaluate it on Sunday, but I'm hoping our strategy is going to be the one that pays off in the long run."

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