Now that England’s Justin Rose has a gold medal to go with a major championship, he’d love to add at least one more major to his collection.
“People want to keep comparing the two, major championship or Olympic gold,” Rose said. “I don’t think they should be compared to one another.”
Rose said if his résumé one day reads that he was a multiple major champion and Olympic gold medalist, he would be a “very, very happy man. Just going to tag on another major now.”
Rose won his major at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. His gold medal came last August in Rio when golf made its return to the Games after a 112-year absence.
A second major championship could very well come at the Masters Tournament.
In 11 starts, he has four top-10 finishes, including a co-runner-up finish in 2015. He has never missed the cut.
“To back up a U.S. Open win with a Masters would be just incredible,” Rose said. “Obviously, the Open Championship is my home event, and that’s going to be one that’s always on the hit list.”
At the Masters in 2015, Rose shot 14-under-par 274 to finish four behind Jordan Spieth, who tied the tournament scoring record at 270. The 274 is tied for the lowest non-winning score in Masters history and has been bettered only six times in tournament history.
“Obviously, 14-under is a pretty magical score around there in terms of it has not been beat many times,” Rose said. “If you’ve done it once, you feel like you can do it again. It’s a place I love, it’s a place I always feel inspired to be at. It’s a tournament I believe if all things click for me, I can win one day.
“If I look back at the 16th green (in 2015), I had a putt to get to 16‑under par, and you know, that level of performance obviously would have won many major championships, and essentially I was beaten by an all‑time great performance,” Rose said. “So I take a lot of confidence from that; that any other year or many other years, that that level of performance is good enough to win. If you get beaten by a better guy on the week, you tip your cap.”
Rose enjoys taking a trip to Augusta National in the weeks leading into the Masters to do some pre-tournament scouting even though he’s played 44 tournament rounds and numerous practice rounds.
“People say to me, well surely you would know how to play Augusta by now,” Rose said. “I say, well, yeah, sure. So why do you go early? Why not? It’s the Masters, it’s Augusta, so you have the opportunity to go play, which I think is always fun to do. But you always tend to learn something, you always have a different local caddie that offers some tidbit of information.
“So I have a pretty good playbook at Augusta, but that is one of the golf courses that you putt from memory in terms of the greens,” Rose said. “Sometimes it’s hard to pick up how much the ball breaks, you can see a one or two percent slope around the cup, normally on tour that’s a left edge putt, but you might have to play it a cup out at Augusta. So you really have to remember which putts break hard.”
Rose has been a fan of the Masters since he was a “kid,” he said, watching it on television in the wee hours of the English morning.
“I watched probably as much or if not more than any of the other (majors),” he said. The fact it came on late at night and you were able to stay up, bribe your parents, that it was the Masters and you could stay up late, probably part of the attraction. It’s always had something special.”