Rose eyes world No1 spot

Daily News - - SPORT - AN­DREW BOTH

SOUTHAMP­TON: Justin Rose will be­come world No1 if he wins the US Open on Sun­day while vic­tory for Rickie Fowler would shed the Amer­i­can’s la­bel as the best player with­out a ma­jor ti­tle. It has been five years since Rose, then 32, broke through on the big­gest stage to win the 2013 US Open at Me­rion.

World No 7 Fowler, how­ever, re­mains 0-for-33 in the four cham­pi­onships that largely de­fine a player’s ca­reer, a se­ries of close calls only adding to his frus­tra­tion and the lat­est com­ing at the Mas­ters in April where he fin­ished run­ner-up to Pa­trick Reed.

“We’ll get it done, and once we get our first it’s def­i­nitely not go­ing to be the last,” Fowler, 29, said with con­vic­tion at the end of a news con­fer­ence on the eve of the tour­na­ment yes­ter­day.

But Fowler must brace for more dis­ap­point­ment, Rose said be­cause no­body closes the deal ev­ery time.

“He will let one or two go in the fu­ture,” the Bri­ton said.

“You can’t skip through your ca­reer with­out one or two slip­ping through the net. It’s a by-prod­uct of be­ing on the leader board that these things hap­pen.

“With re­gards to Rickie, he’s go­ing to be on the leader board for a long, long time, and I’m sure things are go­ing to line up for him more than once.”

But vic­tory at Shin­necock Hills this week could go to Rose, the sec­ond favourite be­hind Dustin John­son.

No­body is in bet­ter form than the English­man who won the Fort Worth In­vi­ta­tional three weeks ago.

Rose says win­ning of­ten boils down to how well he putts.

“The con­sis­tency has been great all year,” the world num­ber three said. “I’ve al­ways been a pretty good ball-striker. I’m now tak­ing more of those op­por­tu­ni­ties with the put­ter.

“I couldn’t think of a bet­ter sce­nario than to win a Ma­jor, and to be­come No 1.”

The same ap­plies to Fowler, at least the win­ning part.

He could hardly go into a tour­na­ment in a bet­ter frame of mind, af­ter get­ting en­gaged to girl­friend Al­li­son Stokke last week.

“I just didn’t want to carry the ring around any longer,” joked Fowler, who hopes to re­place it with a big sil­ver tro­phy on Sun­day. – Reuters

JUSTIN ROSE

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