PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Englishman Justin Rose is back and ready to go in Southern California this week at the Northern Trust Open.
The reigning U.S. Open champion had been sidelined for the past two months with what Rose described as a basic tendinitis of the right supraspinatus (shoulder).
According to Rose, he irritated the shoulder when throwing a ball back to caddie Mark Fulcher at The Barclays. Rose played through the injury for the rest of the 2013 season.
“I played pretty much from October last year with it not perfect,” Rose said of his shoulder. “I assumed a little bit of rest over Christmas would heal it, but it didn’t really and that’s when I knew I needed to put a little bit of extra time into it – but nothing serious, nothing torn, no surgery required, nothing like that.”
Rose was eager to return to the Tour. By his own admission, Rose rushed back to make this event so he could determine his schedule leading up to the Masters.
Technically, Rose’s most recent event was the WGC-HSBC Champions in mid-November, when he finished fifth.
“A lot of hard work went into me being here,” Rose said. “It was a race against time to really get back playing and get back strong. And if I’m honest, I’ve only really been hitting balls, drivers, for about a week, 10 days now. So it really has been down to the wire.”
The Northern Trust Open is a trial for next week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. If Rose feels good this week and gets four rounds under his belt, then he definitely will be at the Match Play.
But Rose’s focus is quickly turning to Florida – and more importantly the Masters in just two months.
“My immediate focus is just continuing to improve as a golfer and really have the discipline every week to go out and execute my skill set, which I believe is growing and getting stronger every week,” Rose said. “So that’s how I’m going to play my best golf. That’s how I’m going to contend in majors. Certainly I want to be 100 percent come April.”