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New targets for Justin Rose

Justin Rose's long-awaited breakthrough in the professional ranks with victory in the Dunhill Championship on Sunday means he can now set his sights on loftier goals.

The 21-year-old's two stroke victory on Sunday automatically gives him a two-year exemption on the European Tour -- which is effectively three years as his exemption only starts at the beginning of the 2003 season.

"Let's hope there are more wins to come but I won't get carried away," the Englishman told reporters on Monday.

"Everyone said when I was struggling that it's a marathon and not a sprint - and the same still applies now.

"But winning here certainly opens up the potential for me to get into the heavyweight World Golf Championship events and be exempt for the (British) Open, and all that will make it easier for me to climb the European order of merit."

Rose had to wait for three and a half years before securing his maiden victory on the tour and it was fitting that the breakthrough came in Johannesburg, the city of his birth.

He closed with a superb round of 65 at Houghton Golf on Sunday to hold off the challenge of U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and world number five Ernie Els.

His progress to victory was closely watched by scores of South African fans, his older brother Brandon and his grandparents, who live in Johannesburg.

But Rose's one regret was that his parents were not there as his father Ken, who is battling leukaemia, had to watch the last-day action unfold on television, along with his wife Annie, at their home in England.

"To win in front of my brother and grandparents was just awesome, but I just wish my mum and dad had been here and that would have been the full set," he said.

"My mum was in tears when I spoke to her but this win is for my dad more than anyone. He's not so well and is the guy I owe most to.

"He's put a lot of time and a lot of hours into my game. This win is for him more than anybody."

Rose has risen to a career-high number 106 in the world rankings on the back of his win in South Africa while he has climbed to four on the 2002 European order of merit.

He will play in Australia this week for the Johnnie Walker Classic which begins in Perth on Thursday.


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