With the 2014 Open Championship set to begin on Thursday, players with their eye on raising the Claret Jug are looking for every bit of an edge they can get. With his dominant run to the Scottish Open title on Sunday, Justin Rose has now staked his claim as one of the favorites for golf’s oldest championship.
For the last three months, there really hasn’t been a player in the world any better than Rose. He finished in the top-15 at both the Masters and the U.S. Open, won his last PGA Tour start in June’s Quicken Loans National, and now has back-to-back wins counting Sunday’s triumph in Scotland. Whether it’s links-style golf or the more American styles as seen at Augusta National or Congressional, his game is so good, it doesn’t matter where he plays.
What’s more, is Rose seems to be getting better with each passing day. He shot four rounds in the 60s at Royal Aberdeen, which is impressive on its own. He made just five bogeys for the tournament, with a mere one during his weekend charge to the top. If he can keep that up, the Open might look like a formality.
Of course, there are a few catches. Not only do major championships present the toughest field of the year, but the Open Championship presents unique challenges in both weather and course setup. Add to that the fact that Rose has somehow never finished in the top ten at the Open and has missed the cut in three of his last four starts, and the scenario doesn’t look so happy.
Then again, that’s exactly what people were saying about Phil Mickelson a year ago, right up until he won the Scottish Open and claimed the major even he doubted he would win. Three in a row would be an incredible run, but there’s no reason it can’t happen.
If you’re looking for somebody to count on for a strong showing at Hoylake, you don’t need to search any farther than Justin Rose.