Rose says he had 'amazing' season, ready for more
ANTALYA, Turkey — Very few players can sum up their season with the term “amazing,” but that was how Justin Rose graded his 2013 campaign Wednesday before the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, the third leg of the European Tour’s Final Series.
Rose, 33, won his first major championship in June at the U.S. Open at Merion and kept that momentum for most of the season, missing only one cut, at the Open Championship at Muirfield. He finished second in the FedEx Cup playoff opener, The Barclays, and added a sixth in the Tour Championship in Atlanta, propelling him to 10th in the playoffs.
Now sitting in third place in the Final Series after a fifth place at the WGC-HSBC Champions, Rose said he didn’t feel very comfortable in Shanghai, his first week back since the Tour Championship.
“I guess it’s a testament to where my game is that I cannot feel great and play in a really good, strong field and finish top-5,” Rose said in reflecting on last week. “I feel like when you’re on a three-week run, you can play yourself into a bit of form.”
When he first came out in 1997, Rose was familiar with disappointment, missing 23 consecutive cuts before a breakthrough of sorts at the 1999 Compaq European Grand Prix, in which he tied for 74th.
But with five wins on the PGA Tour and four more on the European Tour, Rose is right where he wants to be with a large part of his career still in front of him.
“I feel like really the last three or four years, I’ve been on the same journey, the same track, the same thought process, the same mindset and the kind of improvement trend,” Rose said of his recent progress. “I’ve always said between 30 and 40 was going to be my prime, the peak of my career, and it's definitely started out that way.”
The Englishman will need two good weeks to supplant Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson, the two players ahead of him in the European Tour's money list, the Race to Dubai.
Rose won in Turkey last year, but it was in an eight-man match-play event on a different golf course. This week, Rose will find a longer golf course, at 7,100 yards, with some rough and tight lines off the tee.
Yet, Rose is comfortable with this week's venue and next week's, Jumeirah Golf Estates, site of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“I have great memories of both places; that (is) definitely encouraging.”’ Rose said. “But going back to Dubai, I think I played the golf course really well last year, and that’s something you can take some confidence from.”