Rose hopes Major win will open floodgates

WORLD No3 Justin Rose hopes last month’s US Open victory can create a domino effect on English golfers winning Majors, as attention turns to Muirfield tomorrow for the Open.

The 32-year-old became the first man since Sir Nick Faldo, victorious at the 1996 Masters, to win one of golf’s four grand slams when he triumphed at Merion by two shots from Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

And Rose hopes the week will end with an English name engraved on the claret jug, as top-20 compatriots Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald all bid to emulate his success.

“Hopefully it has broken the curse,” said Rose. “I am sure it will give the others a little extra burst of enthusiasm. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the other guys follow in the not too distant future.”

Poulter, who finished second at the 2008 Open to Padraig Harrington, will play with a new putter in his bag this week – just as he did five years ago at Royal Birkdale.

And the 37-year-old is hopeful his change of club can pay dividends.

“I’ve found something I like the look of and hopefully we can go one place better than in 2008,” he said.

“I’m not looking to kick-start anything, I’m looking to win this tournament.”

Three-time Open champion Tiger Woods is set to play in his first tournament for four weeks, having been sidelined with an elbow injury.

And the 37-year-old offered words of encouragement to mis-firing world No2 Rory McIlroy.

“I won a Major championship [in 1997] and then I proceeded to alter my swing a bit and it took me maybe two years before it really clicked in,” he said. “People obviously speculate and hypothesise about what he [McIlroy] should or shouldn’t do, but deep down he knows what he’s doing.”