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Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Justin Rose will go in search of a third World Golf Championships title this week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind but will have memories of an incredible Open Championship still fresh in his mind.

Shane Lowry may be from the Republic of Ireland but he had the entire island behind him as he lifted the Claret Jug on Sunday, with the oldest Major Championship returning north of the border for the first time in 68 years.

Rose finished in a tie for 20th after a disappointing final round but he admits the scenes that he saw at Royal Portrush Golf Club were "amazing".

"Had I won The Open last week, I would have my friends and family and my local golf club that had probably done something special for me, but I don't think it would have been the homecoming and amazing environment that Shane's enjoying," he said.

"The Irish people really got behind him, whether it was Northern Ireland or Irish. There was no border it didn't seem like, everyone was right behind him, which is fantastic.

"I would be scared to celebrate with Shane because it'd be a big night."

He added: "I really enjoyed the golf course. I think it was a golf course that didn't have a bad hole on it.

"Obviously Shane, especially on the Saturday, kind of got it going, went low, and on Sunday it was a classic links day that it just gets ugly and any golf course is really, really tough in those conditions.

"Portrush was the perfect test in the sense that it was still playable on Sunday. Not for me it wasn't playable, but it was still playable on Sunday.

I would be scared to celebrate with Shane because it'd be a big night - Justin Rose

"Disappointing finish obviously for myself but Shane showed that if you played well and managed your game well and you hit the right shot at the right time, even par was doable out there on Sunday."

Rose's last World Golf Championships victory came at the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2017, five years after he won the WGC-Championship.

Later in 2012 he went on to defeat Phil Mickelson in a remarkable Ryder Cup singles match as Europe completed the Miracle of Medinah, and the World Number Four believes his maiden WGC win was a big stepping stone on his way to winning the 2013 U.S. Open Championship.

"I won a WGC in 2012 along with the Ryder Cup," he said. "That kind of gave me that belief that I was ready to win a Major."

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T4MCILROY, RoryNIR18-11

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