Rose aims to bring things full circle with Birkdale Open triumph

Justin Rose's greatest Open moment to date came at Royal Birkdale, but he is hoping to create an even more memorable story on his return.

Justin Rose at the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale   -  Getty Images

At the scene of his memorable breakthrough as a teenager, Justin Rose is hoping he can bring things full circle by winning The Open for the first time this week.

Rose sprung to prominence as an amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998, famously holing a pitch on the 18th to tie for fourth on Open debut at the age of 17.

Somewhat surprisingly given his many achievements, including a U.S. Open victory in 2013 and victory in the Olympic Games last year, Rose has yet to better that finish when contending for the Claret Jug.

Asked at a news conference what it would mean to finally win the event, he replied: "Obviously, that's the dream. It's the one tournament that I've dreamed about since I was a young boy, and I think especially at Royal Birkdale.

"You take an Open Championship anywhere, you take a major championship anywhere, but if they happen to line up a special venue... I feel fortunate that I was able to win [the U.S. Open] at Merion because that club has a little something extra about it. And for me, here, to do it at Royal Birkdale would obviously be a full-circle moment, based upon what I did in 1998.

"It's a special venue... lots of special memories."

Commenting on his failure, as yet, to improve on his maiden Open outing, the Englishman added: "It surprises me after all these years that is still the best finish. And yeah, because of that, there's unfinished business, for sure.

"I don't want to say that if I don't win this it's going to be a huge sort of hole in my career... but to win it would kind of close the book in a way on my Open Championship story. There's no rush, but certainly I'm into the do-it-now phase of my career."

Birkdale has provided a stiff test on the last two occasions it has hosted the event and Padraig Harrington won with a three-over total in 2008 as high winds caused chaos.

"I love it. I think it's the fairest links golf course we play, it rewards great golf," said Rose. "The vagaries of the bounces are slightly less in play here than at some other golf courses we play in the [Open] rotation.

"But we really haven't played this course in good weather, virtually everybody here hasn't played it in good weather - '98 wasn't great, '08 wasn't great. This week might not be great.

"Because it's a fair golf course, I think it plays well in tough conditions too. I'm looking forward to getting back out there."