Rose feeling 'mentally fresh' ahead of U.S. Open

Former champion Justin Rose feels confident and mentally ready for another tilt at the U.S. Open title in Shinnecock Hills this week.

Justin Rose practices ahead of the U.S. Open   -  Getty Images

Justin Rose feels "mentally fresh" and ready to try and claim his second U.S. Open title this week at Shinnecock Hills, a course he has come to enjoy.

Rose's last appearance at the New York venue came in the 2004 edition of the major, the Englishman missing the cut and making an early exit.

Ahead of Thursday's opening round, Rose admitted he was not Shinnecock's biggest fan after that, but has since returned to the course and begun to enjoy the challenge that it brings.

Rose has enjoyed a good build-up to this week's major with victory at Fort Worth and a sixth-place finish at the Memorial Tournament last time out, and he feels in a good place ahead of day one.

"I think for the most part, the consistency has been great all year," he told a media conference.

"We always measure things in wins, so it was great to get over the finish line there [at Fort Worth].

"It was nice to play very strong golf on the weekend at Fort Worth. It was nice to finish off with a 64 on Sunday. When my game was tested, it was still holding up pretty well.

"I felt like I had a good opportunity at the Memorial just to go back to back. Unfortunately, I didn't play that well on the weekend, but was still in touch really with a few holes to go.

"Coming in here off a little break to freshen up. That's what you need to be at a U.S. Open. You need to be mentally fresh. I feel like I've done a good job with that the last week."

Victory for Rose – the 2013 champion at Merion – could see him usurp Dustin Johnson and climb to the top of the world rankings, but that would merely be an added bonus for the 37-year-old.

"I'm in the great position where world ranking, becoming world number one, is going to be a by-product of winning this week," he added.

"So I may as well just continue to focus on the winning. That's where the points are. That's where the fun is, to be honest with you.

"I couldn't think of a better scenario than to win a major, to win a golf tournament, and to become world number one.

"There are scenarios that - you know, Memorial was an interesting one. I could have finished second there and become world number one. So it's nicer to keep focus on the winning. It keeps things cleaner mentally. It keeps things simple.

"I don't know where any scenarios are this week. All I'm focusing on is, for me, winning major championships has been my dream as a kid. A world number one is a really cool thing to say at some point in your career, but it's not my primary focus.

"My primary focus is winning the tournaments that will get me there."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :