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Justin Rose chases treble dream at Open Championship

Justin Rose is looking to claim a unique treble and a second Major title in the Open Championship at Hoylake

Justin Rose

Justin Rose was going into the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on Thursday with the golden chance of completing an historic hat-trick.

Odds against the 34-year-old Fleet ace have tumbled in the past few weeks following his remarkable hot streak on both sides of the Atlantic.

His credentials were already strong following his victory in the Quicken Loans National in the United States, but when he followed this in his next event with an impressive triumph at the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen on Sunday, he had the bookies running for cover.

But the big question as he gets set to tee off alongside Australian Adam Scott and American Jason Dufner at 2.27pm was could he possibly win again this week against 150 of the world’s elite?

Live: Open Championship 2014 at Hoylake 

Defending Open champion Phil Mickleson, who he left trailing in his wake with a 16-under-par total, is in no doubt.

“In previous years it was generally accepted that it was too tough a task,” he said.

“But I proved it is quite possible by doing it last year and Justin is clearly in a really rich vein of form and confidence, and he proved he has the nerve for the big occasion when he won the US Open at Merion last year.”

Rose, usually one of the most understated of golf’s leading figures is really bubbling, saying: “I could not have scripted my build-up any better.

"I have never won two tournaments back-to-back before, so to now be attempting to make it three is really uncharted territory.

“It was unbelievable to be back in the winners’ circle so quickly. I am feeling great and I don’t think those two wins have taken a lot out of me.

"I enjoyed the moment but my mind is already fully focused on this week.”

'Great test'

Rose admitted, however, that he does not have the best of Open Championship records, despite enjoying a remarkable fourth place on his debut, as an amateur, in 1998.

His best finish since then was tied 12th in 2007 and he has missed the cut in each of the past four years.

He also has the disadvantage of not having competed at Hoylake before, having failed to qualify when the Open was last played at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in 2006.

“I made the effort to come up here last week before playing at Aberdeen so I could get used to the course.

"It seems a very fair test and you have just got to feel it really. If we get a 15-20mph breeze blowing across the course, it is going to be a great test for everyone.

Meanwhile, Rose’s desire to win the game’s oldest and most revered prize was clear when he insisted: “The Open is what we all aspire to as kids growing up and as players we know how much it would mean to win such a historic Championship.

“There are so many great names on the Claret Jug and to follow them would be fantastic.”

 
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