Rose ignoring US Open pressure

Justin RoseJustin Rose says he doesn’t like the term ‘defending’ champion due to the expectations it brings and is looking at this year’s US Open as a “pressure-free” event (Rose 25/1 US Open outright).

Rose became the first Englishman in 43 years to win the US Open 12 months ago when he finished two-shots clear of Phil Mickelson and Jason Day at Merion.

The 33-year-old now heads to Pinehurst in North Carolina hoping to become the first player since Curtis Strange in 1989 to retain the US Open.

Rose is likely to be the focus of plenty of media attention at the second major of the year being the defending champion, while playing alongside six-time runner-up and home favourite Mickelson for the first two rounds will also make sure he is centre of attention (Mickelson 14/1 US Open outright).

The Ryder Cup star is keen to deflect the media spotlight away from himself though and is taking a different view to the defence of his US Open title.

“I don’t like that word ‘defending’ because it puts you behind the eight-ball,” he said. “You don’t want to be out there being defensive at all.

“I’m the only one guy who has the opportunity to repeat, but I’m seeing that as a pressure-free situation.”

Rose feels the nature of a US Open course suits him well, claiming he felt close to capturing the title in 2012 in San Francisco, despite finishing in a share for 21st on that occasion.

“I felt like I had a good opportunity in 2012 at Olympic Club, too. I played really well there. I finished six shots back but as a player sometimes it’s a lot closer than that,” he added.

“I feel like the US Open test suits me.”

Rose, who also has two top-10 finishes to his name from previous US Opens, will tee off with Mickelson and US Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick on Thursday.

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