Fresh from his tied second place finish last week in the United Arab Emirates, Justin Rose has said ahead of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters that his fine start has vindicated the decision to launch his 2013 season at The European Tour’s annual Desert Swing.
Rose narrowly missed out on what would have been a wire-to-wire victory in Abu Dhabi last week, where an inspired Jamie Donaldson came from behind to claim a one shot victory over the Englishman and Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen.
It is the first time Rose has begun his season in the Middle East since 2009, and despite some frustration the Ryder Cup star is only taking the positives from Abu Dhabi as he looks to go one better in Qatar this week.
“It was disappointing not to win, obviously, having led for three rounds and having a two shot lead on the Sunday,” he said ahead of the Wednesday start in Doha.
“But I look back on Sunday and feel like I made a lot of right decisions and did a lot of things very well.
“I don't live and die by the results, so it doesn't make any difference really. I'm not dwelling on last week whatsoever.
“I think I gained something last week, I certainly didn't lose anything. I’m very happy with where my game is and I want to continue in the same vein here in Qatar.”
Despite missing the cut on his four previous appearances at the Qatar Masters (in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2009), Rose is looking forward to the challenges presented by both the Championship Course and the world-class field assembled for the 16th edition of the event.
He said: “My game is in great shape and I think it's still a pretty good ball striking test from what I remember.
“You need to have control over what you're doing out there on the course and the rough is quite thick as well, so it's quite unforgiving, which is a kind of test I relish.
“So I'm hoping that again this week is another good week to go out and test my game against a good golf course and a good field. That's what I want all year long, just keep showing up, keep working hard and keep executing and that's going to put me in position to win a lot of golf tournaments.”
Having recently ascended to a career-high position of fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, the five-time European Tour champion says that although he is not getting ahead of himself, he has World Number One Rory McIlroy in his sights.
“The thought of being World Number One is on my radar for the first time ever, it's there in the distance,” he continued. “It's a lot of hard work, though. People don't realise when you're four or five World Ranking points behind someone, that's an awful lot of points. There are a lot of variables.
“Obviously we expect Rory to keep moving forward in the game so it's only going to happen with a remarkable run over a couple of years. So certainly not worth over-thinking about and you just have to improve your game, but it's a motivation certainly.”