FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — It might seem like only yesterday, but it’s actually been almost six years since Justin Rose earned his first career major championship, the U.S. Open at Merion.
And although he has become one of the world’s best golfers, spending 13 weeks at No. 1 in the world rankings since losing a playoff in the BMW Championship last September at Aronimink, a second major title has continued to elude him.
However, when asked about it at Bethpage Black, where he will begin play Thursday in the PGA Championship, the 38-year-old Rose smiled.
“I think the pressure of trying to win a second is far less than the pressure of trying to win your first,” he said Wednesday. “From that point of view, I haven’t given it a second thought. Obviously, I want to win more. I’ve been close on a couple of occasions … lost in a playoff there at Augusta [to Sergio Garcia in 2017].
“So a putt here, a putt there, a chip here, a chip there, I could have added a second major championship. I feel like I’m still waiting for my run in the majors. I’m still waiting for a hot run, where I can hopefully get an opportunity to put two, three, four away quite quickly. I feel like the style of golf does suit me generally, so I’m still working hard. There’s still a lot of focus for me. I try to build my whole year around trying to play well and peak in the majors.”
Ranked No. 2 in the world, Rose has had a terrific start to his 2019 season. He captured his 10th career PGA Tour victory in January at the Farmers Insurance Open. He has finished in the top 10 four other times, including a third place at the Wells Fargo Championship, the last time he competed before this week.
His only missed cut came at the Masters, by one stroke, and he said he had not prepared properly.
“I felt like at Augusta I did so much work in the run-up and early in the week that I felt like on Tuesday, my game peaked,” he said, “and then it sort of dropped off after that, whereas major championship golf is all about playing well on the weekend. So for me, it was about what do I need to do to draft into it and feel good for the weekend more than trying to get ready for Thursday.”
Rose called his performance at the Wells Fargo in early May “a nice bounce-back" after the Masters.