Rose seeks to blossom among the azaleas
A razor-sharp short game is a pre-requisite at the U.S. Masters and Britain's Justin Rose has decided to repeat the build-up that helped him into a tie for fifth place last year.
As he did 12 months ago, Rose used only two wedges and a putter for nine holes of practice on Tuesday in a bid to improve his touch on and around Augusta's slick, heavily contoured greens.
"It's a routine that serves me well at the majors where the premium is around the greens, and especially here at Augusta National," the 27-year-old Englishman told reporters.
"That's the part of the golf course that is really the most different to general play that we face week-in, week-out."
Rose, who clinched the European Tour order of merit for the first time last year by winning the season-ending Volvo Masters, spent two-and-a-half hours on Tuesday working on his short game.
"I was just trying to manage in where potential pin placements are and chipping and putting to those areas," he said after practising with a sand wedge, a lob wedge and putter.
"I hit quite a few bunker shots here and there and focused on hitting areas I know I'm likely to miss the ball to, that's the key.
"It's all about knowing your game and practising from likely positions you'll be in."
The world number nine, who finished no worse than tied for 12th in the four majors last year, is excited about his comfort level at Augusta National.
"The experiences I've had here at Augusta have been powerful experiences," said Rose, a four-times winner on the European Tour. "I've had good experiences and bad experiences and you learn from both.
"Last year I felt very comfortable in the hunt all week. From day one, I was on the leaderboard and I felt comfortable with that situation and position. I enjoyed it."
Rose shared the first-round lead with a three-under-par 69 last year and was one stroke off the pace with two holes remaining in the final round before he double-bogeyed the 17th.
"The biggest thing about winning a major is believing you can and last year was key for me in terms of making that step up," he said.
"My game is in great shape and everything is in great shape and really looking forward to the week. If I can create the mind-set, it should be a good week."
April 9, 2008