Olympic champion Justin Rose admits he feels a sense of destiny as he bids to rekindle special memories of Royal Birkdale and challenge for a second Major title at this week’s Open.
As a 17-year-old, Rose shot to prominence by finishing fourth at the 1998 Open in Southport and winning the silver medal for the top amateur. That remains his best finish at an Open despite making 10 cuts in his 15 attempts.
“It’s the one tournament that I’ve dreamed about since I was a young boy, and I think especially at Royal Birkdale,” said Rose.
“I feel fortunate that I was able to win [the US Open] at Merion because that club has a little something extra about it, and for me, to do it at Royal Birkdale would be a full-circle moment based upon what I did in 1998.”
Rose’s form has dipped since being pipped by Spain’s Sergio Garcia at the Masters in April, although a tied-fourth finish at the Irish Open earlier this month has left the 36-year-old targeting the Claret Jug.
“Hopefully a couple of weeks ago in Ireland was the start of things turning around,” added Rose. “There were a lot of aspects of my game that I was really, really pleased about.”