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Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Justin Rose believes distance off the tee will be key as he goes in search of a second Major at this week's US PGA Championship.

The notoriously difficult layout at Bethpage State Park BK Course has just two par fives but is a 7,459 yard par 70.

A stellar field has gathered in New York, with 99 of the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking teeing it up, but Rose believes it could come down to a contest between the biggest hitters off the tee, himself included.

"I would say sort of four, five years ago we had sort of a bit of a project within the team that we called Project 300," he said.

"I felt like to compete on tour and be one of the best players in the world you had to fly the ball 300 yards in the air. That seemed to be just a nice round number, obviously, but that was I felt the metric that would kind of open up a few golf courses for me. It would make a difference.

"And I guess the last few years we've been able to achieve that through technique and through fitness and various other obvious factors.

"A golf course like this, I think if you look at it, I could be proved wrong, but I would say this is the kind of golf course where maybe you're looking at the field not necessarily as 156 but maybe looking at 30, 40 guys that maybe can win this tournament based on the length.

"I think driving the golf ball and distance will be a really big advantage this week."

Since winning the U.S Open Championship in 2013, Rose has risen to World Number One, won Olympic Gold and two Rolex Series events, but he admits the fire still burns brightest for more Majors.

"I feel like I'm still waiting for my run in the Majors," he said. "I'm still waiting for a hot run where I can hopefully get an opportunity to put two, three, four away quite quickly.

"There's still a lot of focus for me. I try to build my whole year around trying to play well and peak in the Majors. I still feel at this point in my career, second Major, and then obviously on from there will kind of define my career from that point of view.

"I've done a lot of other really cool things obviously alongside my Major Championship win but more majors equals a better career, there's no doubt."

I've done a lot of other really cool things obviously alongside my Major Championship win but more majors equals a better career - Justin Rose

With his victory at Merion Golf Club, Rose became the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open in 43 years but he will be looking to end a longer drought on Long Island.

Jim Barnes claimed the last English victory at the US PGA Championship in 1919 and while Rose would love to be the man to end the 100 year streak, he believes many of his countrymen also have a chance.

"There's been some great English players since then, obviously, Sir Nick Faldo being the top of the tree," he said.

"But guys have gotten to Number One in the world, (Lee) Westwood, Luke Donald, obviously you've got myself there, as well.

"There's Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey, a bunch of young guys coming through, as well. England is well represented in the top 30, 35 of the World Rankings.

"There's plenty of talent and firepower, you just need a bit of lady luck and the stars to align. I'd love to be the guy to get over the hump."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-8
2JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-6
T3SPIETH, JordanUSA18-2
T3CANTLAY, PatrickUSA18-2
T3WALLACE, MattENG18-2
6LIST, LukeUSA18-1

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