Dubai: Justin Rose finally feels he is back in contention for a shot at the majors in 2013, 15 years after first bursting onto the scene with a fourth-placed finish at The Open Championship, aged 17.
Now 32, the Englishman finished second at this weekend’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship with a course record 62 on his last round of the year to end 21-under-par 267, climbing from tied for seventh in the field, after 68-68-69.
It’s his consistent form and steady progression, with 13 top 10 finishes and the WGC Cadillac Championship win this season, which leads him to believe the ultimate prize is just around the corner. The best Rose has finished in the majors is third at the PGA Championship in 2012, fourth in the Open Championship in 1998 and fifth in the US Open and the Masters in 2003 and 2007.
Rose, who starts off next season in Abu Dhabi, said: “This has been my most consistent year ever. I’ve had 13 top tens and I’ve won a WGC. If you look at that progression in terms of events I’ve been able to win it leads you to a Major.
“It doesn’t mean a Major is going to happen and it doesn’t mean I’m solely focused on a Major but I still think I can become a prolific winner. I definitely want to be fully prepared for the majors next year.”
Of a career spent desperately trying to prove his explosive entrance as a teen wasn’t a fluke, Rose, who consequently went on a run of 21 missed cuts after that breakthrough, added: “The Open happened and made in tough. I kept trying to live up to the expectation. I didn’t want to be a one-week flash in the pan and tried to prove everyone wrong.
“What should have been the greatest thing to have ever happened to me turned out to be the worst. When I look back now I can think what a cool achievement but for a few years it was probably the worst thing that could have happened to me.
“I’m focusing hard on the process of self improvement. I always said 30-40 will be my prime years. I’m 32 now. Time is still on my side and I’m not at panic point yet. I’m learning with every Major event and if I don’t win its still worthwhile as long as I’m learning from it and getting better. That’s my attitude.”