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Ranking not affecting Justin Rose

Britain’s Justin Rose heads into Thursday’s Honda Classic ranked seventh in the world.

He will not let his status go to his head, though, said Rose, who last season won the European Tour’s Order of Merit and made his best earnings on the PGA Tour including seven top-10 finishes.

“It doesn’t really change my job out on the golf course and obviously although sometimes, you recognise it or you feel it, the important thing is not to really believe it,” said Rose.

“The job is still to go out there and play the golf course, and that’s what worked so well for me last year and that’s what I need to keep doing,” the 28-year-old said.

Rose has suffered some hard times on his climb up the sport’s ladder—missing 21 successive cuts after bursting onto the scene with his fourth place finish, as an amateur, in the 1998 British Open.

But he believes he learnt a lot from that lean spell.

“I just feel like sometimes I perform my best when my back’s against the wall…and I think that’s what I felt I got out of that experience—the fighting,” said Rose.

“I had to really dig myself out from a pretty big hole that I made for myself, so I guess that’s where that comes from and that’s where I feel like I’ve gained from that whole thing.”

Birdies are at a premium at the PGA National course where Rose will be in action from Thursday and the South-African born golfer says he prefers the challenge of tough courses.

“I think it’s a great golf course. That’s one of the large reasons why I put it on my schedule. I looked at the scoring last year and obviously 5-under par winning the tournament meant to me it was a tough challenge and a good test. That’s the kind of golf that I enjoy,” he said.

“It becomes more of a mental challenge. The words you hear all the time, patience, grinding characteristics and qualities come through.”


February 28, 2008

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