Tuesday, 09 April 2013
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Justin Rose will begin the 2013 Masters Tournament convinced he is now in the prime of his career.

A precociously talented youngster who sprung to prominence as a teenager at the 1998 Open Championship, Rose has bloomed into one of the leading players in the game.

With only Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy ahead of him in the Official World Golf Ranking, it is hardly surprising that the 32 year old appeared full of confidence during his pre-tournament press conference at Augusta National.

A first Major Championship win is high on Rose's list of priorities, and he is hopeful it could come on a course where he has regularly gone low in the past.

"I've certainly had some great rounds of golf here and led on the first couple of days before," he said.

"I had a chance in 2007 - I think I was one back with two to play on (eventual winner) Zach (Johnson). I feel it's a course where I've played some good rounds of golf and when you've done that you have some confidence you can do it again."

Assessing his recent rise, following some difficult times earlier in his professional career, Rose added: "I think expectations are very hard to deal with when you don't have the necessary skills to back it up. Now I have a lot of trust in my game.

"If I put myself in a situation where I have a chance to win - it's never easy but I feel like I have the tools at my disposal now to enjoy the occasion, for it not to be overwhelming at least.

"I don't think that necessarily makes it any easier but I know I can do it. I would say that's come about in the last three years.

"From 2010 to this point I would say I've emerged from what was a rocky professional career - up and down. I always had good years and bad years but I feel recently I've got into a nice run of form. I feel like it's more sustainable.

"I've always scripted it that between 30 and 40 was going to be my prime - the time to put into practice all the things I'd learned.

"Often I've had to learn the hard way, so if I can put into place all those years of experience if you like, hopefully it will end up being a great career."

Having played in the Masters on seven previous occasions, Rose is certainly familiar with the thrills and spills that can be expected this week.

Spectacular conclusions have become synonymous with Augusta over the years, and another dramatic finale would come as no surprise to the Englishman.

"There's so much that can happen at this golf course," said Rose.

"More than any other tournament, really big swings can happen score-wise. Therefore, you can't get too ahead of yourself and you can't give up either.

"Anything can happen here, which makes it such a special tournament."

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