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Justin Rose has lofty expectations

European number one Justin Rose believes he is good enough to one day overtake Tiger Woods as the world's top golfer.

"In the short term, the next one or two years, number two in the world is a realistic target for anyone because Tiger is so far ahead of the pack right now," the sixth-ranked Rose told Reuters on Friday.

"In the long term, say three to five years, I've got to work to chip away at the number one spot. That is a long way off but ultimately it's a dream of mine, for sure."

The 27-year-old Briton said a final round he shared with Woods in Illinois in September gave him a good insight into what it takes to be world number one.

"He (Woods) is a good playing partner," said Rose. "He doesn't really try and intimidate you or anything but I played with him in the final round of the BMW Championship.

"We were having a bit of a laugh and a joke on the way round but then he holed a 50-foot putt across the 11th green to go one in front of the field and suddenly he had his game face on.

"He went to a different level in terms of his focus. That was a really interesting learning curve for me, to see how he got the job done, and something I can learn from," added Rose.

The Englishman said the whole experience showed him why Woods had ruled the sport for so long.

"There was a big crowd, the tournament was part of the inaugural FedExCup series, and it showed me how he commits to his shots, slows things down when he has to and doesn't panic," said Rose.

"It is simple stuff but to see someone go out there and execute it shows you what you have to do yourself."

Rose, who clinched the European order of merit title by winning the Volvo Masters at Valderrama in November, said he was intimidated by Woods when they first played together.

"When you first play him, that's definitely the case," said the Florida-based Englishman. "There is an aura, a presence about him, but that's something you have to get over quickly if you want to take him on.

"Ultimately you've got to give him the respect he deserves, I think that's all he really wants from his playing partners. He is genuinely one of the guys, if you have a laugh with him, he'll have a laugh back."

Rose has just finalised a deal with sponsor Tradition, a leading broker dealer, that will mean the globe-trotting golfer becomes one of the world's first carbon-neutral sportsmen.

The company plans to trade carbon credits based on his carbon footprint in 2008.

"My carbon footprint is substantially higher than the average person so it is even more prevalent for someone in my situation to give something back to the environment," said Rose.


December 22, 2007

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