Oakmont - Justin Rose won't have much
chance to ease his way back in this week as he returns from a back injury at
the 116th US Open at Oakmont.
The Englishman, who won his only major
title at the 2013 US Open at Merion, has been painstakingly recovering from a
back injury that kept him out of commission since the Players Championship in
"It's been a race against the clock,
really, for me to be fit and ready to play here," Rose said on Tuesday.
"I've done everything humanly possible
to be here from a recovery point of view, from a fitness point of view, from a
practice point of view, but there's no doubt my practice schedule has certainly
been on the light side, limiting the number of balls I've been hitting."
Rose said he'd only started hitting his
driver a few days before arriving in Pennsylvania, and had focused on
strengthening his core in the gym to protect his back.
It might not be the ideal preparation for
one of the toughest tests in golf - on an Oakmont course where Angel Cabrera's
winning total in 2007 was five-over par.
But it does have an upside.
"I'm coming in fresh, which is the
great news," Rose said.
"Obviously, this golf course is going
to require a huge amount of patience, and I think that having that quiet time
to sit back and assess my game and assess the challenge this week and coming in
with a freshness, I think, could be an advantage come the end of the
Rose said that after 20 years as a
professional he wasn't worried that his swing would have suffered too much
during his downtime.
"Competitive edge, that's obviously
certainly a factor, and that's where I'm going to hope that the freshness
outweighs the competitive rust," he said.