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Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Justin Rose is hopeful that winning a second Major this week at The Open Championship can prove to be the springboard to a career grand slam.

Only Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Tiger Woods have won all four Major Championships, with Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth all just one Major away from joining that exclusive club.

The 2013 U.S. Open Championship is Rose's only Major so far but he has finished second in them three times since then, including last summer at Carnoustie Golf Links.

Rose has also won Olympic Gold, a World Golf Championships, two Rolex Series events and risen to Number One in the Official World Golf Ranking since his triumph at Merion Golf Club, so he knows how quickly victories can come with momentum on your side.

"I think if you won both Opens that's a lovely pair, no doubt," he said. "That would be halfway towards a grand slam. If I was able to do that then I would immediately shift to I'm 50 per cent of the way there.

"The next one is really important for me because it makes the next two feel possible. When you're a quarter of the way there, looking at it, it's quite an uphill climb. But when you're halfway you're kind of at the tipping point.

"I've definitely given myself some looks and if I keep doing that I know the door will open again.

"Anytime you're in contention to win an Open it's an amazing feeling, especially being a home player. I think it's the one that we all dearly love to win. That's the goal, isn't it? To go one better this year and get your hands on the Jug."

Rose has been soaking up Northern Ireland as the oldest Major returns to Royal Portrush golf Club for the first time since 1951, and he is loving his time on the County Antrim Coast.

"It feels very different," he said. "I had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time up here and frequent the Harbour Bar in Portrush and I just think that people are very proud of their little piece of the world up here. It is very special, the golf courses are unbelievable.

The next one is really important for me because it makes the next two feel possible - Justin Rose

"Everyone has been really welcoming and that seemed, because it has been so long, people have been very excited about it.

"I like coming up to these places before the tournament starts. Once championship week rolls around you're in bed early, you're in your disciplined approach that you are all the time.

"But it's such a shame to come to these venues and not be able to enjoy them. Sometimes that is the case. When you're a professional golfer you have to stay focused, I suppose.

"So when I do come up for these preparation trips, they do feel like mini boys' trips, you can play a bit of golf. You have Portrush to yourself in Open Championship condition and you get to go to the pub and have one or two. Who wouldn't want to do that?"

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