Gainesville - Justin Rose has produced sparkling form over the past three
months after a slow start to the PGA Tour season and says he is
"excited" about his title defence at this week's Quicken Loans
National in Gainesville, Virginia.
World number seven Rose clinched last year's tournament after a playoff at
Congressional Country Club in Maryland, and knows he faces a very different
test at a new venue over the next four days at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
"So excited to be here," the 34-year-old Englishman told reporters
on Wednesday before heading off to play the course in the pro-am competition.
"Defending doesn't mean much when you play a new golf course. You can
take some confidence from the fact you played well this time of year and
hopefully the bio-rhythms line up more than the golf course.
"So, it's a new test ... I don't certainly put any pressure on myself
Rose brings excellent form to the PGA Tour event hosted by Tiger Woods,
having posted four top-10s in 13 starts this season, including a victory at the
Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April and a playoff loss at the Memorial
Tournament in June.
"It was a slow start to the year and I found some form," said the
2013 US Open champion, who tied for sixth at the British Open in his most
"I've won (on the PGA Tour) every year (since 2010) and at the
beginning of the year that looked like a long way off. It was nice to find that
form just after spring. There's a big run of golf coming up now and I'm
Rose is the highest-ranked player this week in a field that includes two
other players in the world's top 15 - Americans Rickie Fowler (eighth) and
Jimmy Walker (14th).
Walker, a five-times winner on the PGA Tour, liked what he saw when he
played the course for the first time six weeks ago and immediately decided to
commit to the event.
"I enjoy playing golf courses I like to play, that suit your golf
game," said the 36-year-old Texan. "It's not that I don't play well
at courses that I don't like, but ... I came here, met some great members and
the head pro was great.
"I had a good time, it was a good experience and I definitely wanted to