Thursday 23 November 2017

Rose aims to overcome Masters woe by doubling up with Stenson

Justin Rose. Photo: AP
Justin Rose. Photo: AP

William S Callahan

Justin Rose will look to put his Masters heartache behind him by claiming a second victory in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, although this time with the assistance of Ryder Cup team-mate Henrik Stenson.

Rose's last PGA Tour win came at TPC Louisiana in 2015, when the Olympic champion carded a closing 66 to finish a shot ahead of American Cameron Tringale.

The 36-year-old missed the cut in defence of his title last year, after which the decision was taken to change the format to a two-man team competition, making it the first official team event on the PGA Tour since the 1981 Disney Classic.

Tournament organisers have been rewarded with some star pairings opting to compete for the first prize (each) of £780,000, with Rickie Fowler partnering Jason Day and Jordan Spieth teaming up with Ryan Palmer.

Rose has not competed since missing out on a second Major title at Augusta National, where he led by two shots with six holes to play before eventually losing out in a play-off to Sergio Garcia.


"It was an incredible week and one that I thoroughly enjoyed," Rose said. "I felt really in control of my game and emotions all week and obviously had an opportunity to win. It's an opportunity where certainly one got away, I felt that it was mine at points on the back nine, but I sleep well every night.

"I feel like Augusta is the one Major where the fact that we go back there year on year means you can build on that performance and experience.

"Other Majors you have your opportunity on a course that you love, and then you may not see it again. The Masters is one I can keep coming back to and creating those chances.

"From that point of view I'm incredibly positive and also I think it's only something to review at the end of the season.

"I might have the opportunity to win a couple more Majors yet, so I'm not even willing to look back at this with any sort of regret until the season's done."

Stenson, who suffered his third missed cut in succession at Augusta, and Rose won all three of their matches together at Gleneagles in 2014, but lost two of their three contests at Hazeltine last year.

They and the rest of the 80 teams will play foursomes in the first and third rounds and fourballs in rounds two and four, with the top 35 teams surviving the halfway cut.

Seamus Power is the only Irishman in the field, playing alongside Steven Alker.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 8.30pm

Irish Independent

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