Justin Rose is hoping he can end the 26-year wait for an English winner at The Open this weekend - and become world number one in the process.
Rose has been one of the most consistent performers in the world over the past year, recording 17 top-10 finishes, including four wins, in his past 22 tournaments.
Only Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are ahead of Rose in the world rankings, but the 37-year-old wants to be recognised as the best player on the planet with victories and not top-10 finishes.
Rose believes his game is in good-enough shape to start doing that at Carnoustie and become England's first Open winner since Nick Faldo in 1992, a result that would see him climb above Johnson and Thomas.
"In terms of getting to world number one I said I want to get to world number one by winning tournaments," he said. "It could be I get there further down the line by finishing seventh due to permutations.
"I feel like I've created better chances in The Open than results suggest.
"I haven't threatened as much as I'd like. I'm as confident as I can be."
On ending the English wait, he added: "Obviously it's been a barren run for sure.
"I don't believe in superstition or anything like that but I feel my game is in a good spot, I'm creating chances regularly. It's about me, not records or stats. It's about my game."
Carnoustie has a reputation as one of the most difficult courses in the world, but Rose is a big fan.
Asked to rank the difficulty of Carnoustie compared to the other courses on The Open rotation, he replied: "I'd say it's a six or a seven.
"I like this golf course. I think it's a fair golf course. I don't see it as tough – I see it as all links courses are tough.
"But I don't think it's much tougher than Birkdale, Muirfield or Turnberry. Those four might be among my favourites because I see them as very fair venues.
"In 1999 it got a reputation for being incredibly tough because of the setup. You can make any golf course as tough as you want if it's set up like that."
Rose is part of a group including Jordan Spieth for his opening two rounds, but he sees no reason why partnering the defending champion should add any pressure.
"I feel like the golf course doesn't know who's the defending champion to be honest with you," he said.
"It changes every year. I feel like defending champion really means a lot when you go to the same venue the following year."
21 de marzo 2019
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