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Rose hoping to master Augusta
10:00am Wednesday 4th April 2012 in Sport
JUSTIN Rose begins his Masters campaign tomorrow and admits he is happy to be flying under the radar at Augusta.
The former North Hants member has been paired with former winner Trevor Immelman and Rickie Fowler for the first two rounds of the tournament.
Despite his impressive start to 2012, there has been little talk about Rose ahead of the year’s first major.
Instead, the focus has been largely on the resurgent Tiger Woods, who won last week’s Bay Hill Invitational, and world number two Rory McIlroy, who returns to the site of his spectacular final round collapse last year.
Yet Rose is arguably playing as well as anyone right now, having won once in America this year, while sitting sixth on the PGA Tour money list and second in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings.
“I’m nicely under the radar – I like it,” said Rose, who admits he is reaching the stage of his career where he is seriously looking to add a major crown to his list of achievements.
“I still don’t think I’m at the point where I solely look at the majors. I want to become a more prolific winner, that’s the first aim, and hopefully a major gets in the way of that. I’ve not been overly impressive in them the last couple of years, but they should suit me.”
Rose has flirted with Masters success before. In 2007, he was one shot off the lead with two holes to play, but a double bogey six at the 17th put paid to his chances of victory, as he ended up finishing fifth.
The 31-year-old is hoping that this year will be the moment he takes the next step.
Rose will warm-up for the event by taking place in the traditional par-three tournament today.
Since it was introduced in 1960, no one who has won the light-hearted event has gone on to become Masters champion four days later.
That has led to plenty of superstitious golfers doing all they can to avoid winning the pitch-and-putt title for fear of it harming their hopes of claiming a famous green jacket. But Rose is not worried about any jinx.
“Someone is going to do it one year,” said Rose, who won the WGC Cadillac Championship in Miami four weeks ago. “I’m not one for superstitions and I think it’s an old wives’ tale. If I’m leading with a hole to play I’ll be going for it.”