Justin Rose ‘s Birk
JUSTIN ROSE is so convinced he has found the secret to success at Birkdale, he should have a T-shirt printed with his mantra ‘Keep Calm And Win The Open’.
The Englishman is back where it all began for him as a top-class golfer, with that never-to-be-forgotten chip-in at the final hole to finish an incredible fourth here as a 17-year-old amateur back in 1998.
It is hard to believe that was 19 years ago.
And Rose, who will be 37 at the end of the month, now admits he was unnerved by those memories. and finding himself the centre of attention when it was next hosted at the Lancashire links in 2008.
But he is back again for the 146th Championship as a US Open winner, an Olympic gold medallist, and a battle-hardened campaigner who insists he will not be distracted this time.
He said: “As far as I’m concerned, 2008 was my walk down memory lane.
“I’ve come here this time thinking, ‘Let’s just play golf — and make a proper run at capturing that Claret Jug’.
“It’s not easy for me to accept that my fourth place here in 1998 is still my best finish in The Open.
“That is simply not good enough. When I sit on a rocking chair at the end of my career I don’t want to think back to the kid who went close against all the odds.
“I want to have a replica of the Claret Jug on a little table next to me.
“I’m back with a fresh mind this time and I’m determined to stay as calm and composed as possible.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still be a cauldron of emotions. And I do think that it’s good to see passion.