Rose ready to put US Open in rearview mirror

Justin Rose started the week at Oak Hill with an errant

drive.

Literally.

The U.S. Open champion was involved in a fender-bender near the

course, though no one was hurt.

”I guess accidents are accidents,” he said Wednesday. ”You

can never know exactly quite why they happened. I figured I looked

left, I looked right, (had) the gap to cross the road to turn left,

and a car essentially came out of nowhere. So it was one of those

situations where, unfortunately, hit the front left and a bit of a

dink. Obviously, it’s embarrassing.”

Wreck aside, Rose feels more at ease coming into the PGA

Championship.

He’s ready to start competing for another major title, rather

than just savoring his first.

”I feel like it’s something to look back on at the end of my

career,” Rose said Wednesday, one day before the start of the

year’s final major. ”All of us at this point in our career need to

have our heads down, need to play as hard as you can, need to amass

as much success as you can. And you look back at it in 10, 15

years’ time and think, `That was good, that was bad, I could have

done more, I should have done this, should have done that.’ Only at

that point are you really going to know what you can achieve.”

Sure, he’s still relishing the idea of being a major champion.

It was a big relief to remove that hole in his resume. And, used

properly, it should give him a sense of confidence coming into the

PGA, proving he can hit all the right shots on a pressure-filled

Sunday at one of golf’s biggest events.

But he’s got to use it the right way.

Clearly, Rose had not moved past his triumph at Merion when he

played in the British Open three weeks ago. He was in no shape to

handle the rigors of Muirfield, failing to even make the cut.

”I wasn’t ready with my body,” he conceded. ”I wasn’t ready

with my game.”

Rose spent extensive time back home in England after winning the

U.S. Open, which cut into his normal workouts and practice time.

While it was a joyous time, catching up with family and friends who

were there for much of his journey, it also was an experience that

left him a bit uncomfortable.

”I think it’s the back-slapping you get from everybody, which

is obviously very nice,” he said. ”But it also in some ways can

prevent you from staying fully focused on what’s ahead. People want

to keep talking about Merion.”

Coming into Oak Hill, he’s been able to get back into his

regular routine. The trophy is stashed away at home, where it

should be. Rose can certainly reflect on his accomplishment in the

quiet times, but his main focus is on winning another major.

He doesn’t want to be a player who was one-and-done.

”I feel like I’m back to being disciplined,” Rose said. ”I

feel like I’m back to being really in the present and motivated for

the rest of the year.”

Per custom at the PGA, Rose will get the honor of playing the

first two days in a group with the other major champions from this

year, British Open winner Phil Mickelson and Masters winner Adam

Scott.

”I’m really looking forward to that experience for the first

time,” Rose said, ”and looking to really turn a fantastic year

into an incredible one.”

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