Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open
Gullane GC, Gullane, East Lothian, United Kingdom - Scotland 12 Jul 2018 - 15 Jul 2018
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Justin Rose achieved one of his main career goals in winning the 2014 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and he is hopeful the fifth Rolex Series event of the 2018 season can help him secure another.

Since winning the 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship, the Englishman has not dropped out of the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking, winning the 2013 US Open and four other European Tour titles, but his 2014 triumph at Royal Aberdeen had some special significance.

Rose came to prominence on a links golf course at Royal Birkdale in 1998 when he holed out on the 18th to secure a tie for fourth and the Silver Medal at the Open Championship, but it took him another 16 years before he could claim a victory over links.

With a Major Championship, two WGCs, an Olympic Gold Medal, an Order of Merit and two winning Ryder Cup appearances on his CV, the 37 year old has achieved more than many could dream of in the game, but the fire still burns bright for more links wins and more Majors.

“Winning on a links golf course was another step forward in my career,” he said. “It's nice to check off things that you achieve and winning on a links was something I had not done before.

“It gave me confidence going into the summer thinking it could be done and gives me that confidence still that I can obviously win on links golf courses.

“I feel like I'm at a great point in my career now where the icing is on the cake but we're looking for a little bit of cherry and decoration and sprinkles or whatever from this point on.

“It's been a great 20 years, obviously, but I really feel like there's an opportunity now for me to make it something special.

“But missing, obviously, an Open Championship, I'd love to be a multiple Major Championship winner. It's nice to have that monkey off my back having won one, but beginning to crave more chances and looks and all that stuff. An Open would be amazing - another Major - but more of the same, keep creating good looks in these big events.”

It's been a great 20 years, obviously, but I really feel like there's an opportunity now for me to make it something special - Justin Rose

The World Number Three is the highest-ranked player in the field at Gullane Golf Club but has some elite company with former winners Rafa Cabrera Bello, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, and Masters Tournament champion Patrick Reed all in East Lothian.

Rose knows as well as anyone what a great equaliser links golf can be, however, and he knows the big names could face a challenge from anywhere in the field.

“Just because you're a top-ranked player doesn't mean you start this tournament with any advantage,” he said. “Maybe in tennis, you do start with an advantage and you get thrown against the weakest seeds in the early rounds and you can build your way into a tournament.

“In golf, you tee off the same as everybody else and you've got to build a new body of work. The golf course doesn't recognise any top player here this week, so you have to focus on yourself. It's the only way to get back, week on week on week.

“I never take anything for granted, my career has told me that. Obviously I've had some up-and-downs along the way, so you can never really take anything for granted and keep working hard. No complacency.”

Before the golf gets under way on Thursday, England will be taking on Croatia in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday and Rose is certain to be tuning in.

The proud Englishman shared photos on social media of him heading to watch the quarter-final with his children and has even changed his twitter picture to the Three Lions' badge as he gets caught up in World Cup fever.

“I'll watch it where I'm staying tonight with my family,” he said. “My little boy who is nine is really, really, really into it. My joy for this World Cup is watching him suffer through it like we've all done for years.

“Obviously it's been fun to watch England make a good run through. If you had said a month ago, 'Right, Croatia in the semis, you get a crack at France' - 90 minutes are like 18 holes in match play, anyone can win.”

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1STONE, BrandonRSA18-20
T3LIST, LukeUSA18-15
T3IMMELMAN, TrevorRSA18-15
T6PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-14

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