We are fortunate to play for huge prize money, but winning tournaments is what creates your legacy.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to be a professional golfer these days because we play for so much money over so many tournament weeks. We’re spoilt for choice and are very fortunate that we can tee it up pretty much any week we want to and play for huge sums of money. It’s incredible to do something you love as a job and I’m thankful I’ve been able to turn my passion into a career.
In any job, you want opportunity, and the PGA and European Tours are doing the right things to create the opportunities for their members.
It’s phenomenal from that point of view. But there’s definitely an A-List of tournaments and a B-List of tournaments. The separation of the events comes through the strength of the fields they attract.
The top players want to play against each other and vie for the biggest titles – it gives the wins in those events much more meaning.
At the same time, you don’t want to limit opportunity for the whole membership of the Tour, so you need to keep providing a variety of tournaments so everyone can play enough events. It’s self-perpetuating – the top tournaments attract top players, so there are more world ranking points and bigger sponsors offering bigger prize funds.
Can I see the tours merging and there being a shake up?
Yes, I could see that within 10 years. I don’t think it’s imminent but I can see a change at some point. I play against the other top players in probably 75 per cent of my tournaments around the world.
But the European Tour has also done a great job of giving its membership the option of not having to go to America to play for similar money.
Any player in the top 50 of the world rankings can play the majors, WGCs and the Rolex Series events and build a European Tour schedule of 15-plus tournaments where you’re playing for a lot of money.
You need to be consistent if you want to get into that top 50 in the world, especially if you want to force your way into the top 10 – and stay there.
Consistency is very important because it tells you the overall level of your game, but it only means so much if you haven’t won a tournament.
We’re all out here to win. Our legacies are defined by the tournaments we win and, of course, the world ranking points and money jump up if you finish the week with a trophy.
There’s no formula that can just make you win. A win is such an interesting thing because each one is different.
You’ve got to produce your own best golf and beat a field of up to 155 other guys, so there are so many factors at play.
Sometimes you can produce your own best golf and someone else will have a blinding week and they win, so you need to always be careful not to judge things ‘yes and no’.
You have to look at the big picture – as long as you’re occasionally seeing the rewards and picking up the victories.
If you’re finishing 10th every week, you’ve got to question something.
For me, it’s about putting yourself in position and sticking around the top of the leaderboard to give yourself the chance to win the tournament on a Sunday afternoon.
Winning is about execution. There are moments when you have to hit a shot and you have to be able to know the gravity of the situation and execute it.
I’ve executed well on a number of occasions, but there have also been times when I haven’t – that’s the difference between winning and losing.
The more times you get in contention, the more comfortable you get with the knowledge the shots really matter and as a result dealing with it becomes a habit.
I’ve been delighted by how many times I got myself into contention in the last few months of 2017, and winning tournaments in China and Turkey was a real boost.
Hopefully I can continue that form into 2018 and add some more wins, especially another major.
Justin Rose is a US Open champion and Olympic gold medallist who has played on the PGA and European Tours for 18 years.
‘Consistency tells you your overall level , but it only means so much if you haven’t won a tournament’