JUSTIN ROSE

Pa­trick Reed is a good guy, a global player and proved his class at Au­gusta. Now I’m fo­cused on the US Open.

Golf World (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Our star colum­nist on Pa­trick Reed’s Mas­ters win and his own de­tailed prepa­ra­tions for the US Open at Shin­necock Hills.

I’ve got a re­ally good record at the Mas­ters and I went there again this year with the goal of win­ning. My prepa­ra­tions went well and I’m pleased with the way I played but I never had that run of three or four birdies in quick suc­ces­sion to re­ally get me go­ing. I felt like I putted well but the other guys just moved away from me and I couldn’t catch them over the week­end.

Ob­vi­ously I’m dis­ap­pointed it wasn’t my year but I’m re­ally happy for Pa­trick Reed. Fooch (Mark Fulcher, my cad­die) and I get on re­ally well with Pa­trick and his cad­die, Kessler. He’s got an in­cred­i­ble work ethic and de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed. He played su­perb golf all week at Au­gusta and the way he han­dled the pres­sure tells you a lot about his char­ac­ter. He held off the likes of Rory, Jor­dan and Rickie com­ing at him and al­ways seemed to find a big shot or putt when he needed it de­spite not hav­ing his A game in the fi­nal round. I think that shows an in­cred­i­ble amount of men­tal strength.

I also think he de­serves credit for be­ing a truly global player. He’s played quite a lot of events out­side Amer­ica in the last few years and he’s been a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Tour for three of the past four sea­sons in­clud­ing this one. It’s great to see Amer­i­can play­ers em­brac­ing the chal­lenge of play­ing around the world and Pa­trick de­serves a lot of praise for lead­ing the way in that re­gard.

It’s a re­ally ex­cit­ing time of the year head­ing into a mas­sive sum­mer. By the time you prob­a­bly read this I’ll have played with Hen­rik Stenson again at the Zurich Clas­sic. We re­ally en­joyed the team for­mat last year and it’s great to see the PGA Tour tak­ing a lead from the party at­mos­phere at the Golf Sixes on the Euro­pean Tour by in­tro­duc­ing walk-on mu­sic this time. We haven’t de­cided what song we’ll have yet, but my man­ager Paul has sug­gested the Swedish House Mafia. We’ll have to see.

I love the Me­mo­rial Tour­na­ment, hosted by the leg­end that is Jack Nick­laus the first week­end of June, and then it’s all sys­tems go for the US Open at Shin­necock Hills. I’m plan­ning to go there for two or three days in late May to fa­mil­iarise my­self with the course. I did ac­tu­ally play there last time it hosted the US Open in 2004, but I missed the cut and a lot has changed since then – for the course and how I play.

I’ll prob­a­bly play 36 holes with nine in the morn­ing and nine in the af­ter­noon each day so I can see how the course plays at dif­fer­ent times. I might even walk nine holes just with the wedge and put­ter to re­ally get a feel for the place. I love be­ing out there like that with Fooch, just re­ally get­ting an un­der­stand­ing of the course and how it’s likely to play on and around the greens.

As well as Fooch, I’ll also have my swing coach Sean Fo­ley and prob­a­bly my putting coach Phil Kenyon there, so it’s a real team ef­fort. The idea is that we can work to­gether to iden­tify the strat­egy that we be­lieve will give me the best chance to win on Sun­day. It’s not go­ing to be play­ing ex­actly the same as it will in US Open week but it en­ables us to see how tough it’s likely to be, where we can get ag­gres­sive and the holes where we can ac­cept par as a good score.

We can also re­ally tai­lor my prac­tice regime and prepa­ra­tions once we’ve seen the course first-hand and started to for­mu­late a strat­egy. I’ll work on dif­fer­ent tra­jec­to­ries and shot shapes if we can see it’s a lay­out that favours a fade or a draw and I’ll pay more at­ten­tion to the types of short game shots I’m likely to face. There tends to be a lot of deep rough around the fair­ways and greens at a US Open but the type of grass at the venue can make a big dif­fer­ence to how you play those re­cov­ery shots and what’s pos­si­ble.

Those cou­ple of days and the prep work we do off the back of them are so im­por­tant so I can feel 100 per cent pre­pared when I step onto the first tee on Thurs­day. I feel like I play my best golf when I’m in that mind­set and nowhere is that more im­por­tant than at a US Open, be­cause it’s typ­i­cally the tough­est set-up we play all year.

Justin Rose is a US Open cham­pion and Olympic gold medal­list who has played on the PGA and Euro­pean Tours for 18 years.

‘I played Shin­necock Hills the last time it hosted the US Open in 2004 – a lot has changed since then’

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