Augusta - Same again would do just fine for
Justin Rose at this week's Masters tournament.
Last year, the Englishman, who won the 2013
US Open, finished at 14-under par, a score bettered by only five of the 79
But that was only good enough for a tie for
second place, four strokes behind runaway winner Jordan Spieth, who matched the
record 18-under mark set by Tiger Woods.
Rose though, says the contest was closer
than what the winning margin suggests.
"I look back at the final round and I
think there were times in the final round I was a lot closer to him than the
ultimate score portrayed," he said.
"There was a momentum shift around
eight and nine when I looked back at that. It was a routine up-and-down on
number eight that I didn't make and I hit a great shot into number nine that
just skipped up onto the middle tee and I 3-putted coming back down the ridge.
"I felt like that was a two- or
three-shot swing there. Had it gone the other way, obviously that's a big if,
but had it gone the other way, everything changes going into the back nine.
"But Jordan was always able to make a
putt to stay three or four ahead, which is obviously huge. He did a great job
of obviously keeping that distance.
Rose did record a win last year at the
Zurich Classic of New Orleans, marking his sixth consecutive year winning on
the PGA Tour, and his form has been steady if not spectacular this year so far.
But he is seldom mentioned as a potential
winner this week, with all the focus being on the young guns of Jason Day, Rory
McIlroy and defending champion Justin Spieth as well as former winners Bubba
Watson and Adam Scott.
But Rose feels that relative anonymity
could also work in his favour.
"Obviously, I think golf is in a great
spot right now with the world number one trading around and the young guys
really vying for that top spot. That's fine with me," he said.
"I think that I've sort of been
steady. I haven't really had any fireworks yet this year, to sort of come in
here with people having me at the front of their mind.
"I feel like all of my backroom work
has all been fantastic and my preparation has been coming along nicely. Under
the radar, but certainly feeling good with my game."
Rose, playing in his 11th Masters, has a
comfortable mid-morning start to the tournament on Thursday in the company of
Jamie Donaldson and Jamie Berger.