JUSTIN Rose will be hoping to drive his career a fair-way further this weekend as he looks to prevent history from being made in Augusta.

The 22-year-old Fleet-based sensation takes to the plush greens in the prestigious US Masters for the first time on Thursday, while bidding to stop world number one Tiger Woods from becoming the first player ever to win three successive Masters events.

Rose won his way through to Masters qualification after his biggest and best season to date last year saw him finish ninth in the European Tour Order of Merit, while his world ranking soared to 38.

In that time, he also bagged Tour victories in both the Dunhill Championship and Victor Chandler British Masters, while also claiming the Nashua Masters in South Africa and Crowns Tournament in Japan.

His reward now is a reunion with the world's best on a circuit regarded by many as the finest and most prestigious on the planet.

While Woods is odds-on favourite to surpass the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo in winning a third successive Masters event, he is well aware of Rose's talents and must see him as big threat if the England No.1 plays to his full potential.

The Americans are just becoming aware of Rose's talents and many are already are seeing him as the next Faldo in waiting.

This is his biggest test to date, however. If Rose can get through this with flying colours then the sky really is the limit.

Up until now, Augusta has been purely a vision on the telly for Rose, but with two weeks preparation now behind him, he's ready to put those dreams of playing at such a prestigious venue, into reality.

Speaking this week, he said: "I've had a great week preparation. On Monday and Tuesday, I went up to Augusta with Adam Scott and Charles Howell for a sneak preview and had a couple of practice rounds to get a feel for the course.

"It is an incredible place and when you get the to 10th tee and you start playing all the holes you have been watching on TV all those years, it is a fantastic feeling.

"It was quite cold when we played it and the course was playing very long and the greens were exceptionally quick and no doubt they will get even quicker by the time the tournament starts.

"They are tearing up the greens on Sunday, so they are not watering them and just letting them die so they are very hard and fast."

But while Rose goes into uncharted waters over the Atlantic, he leaves England a household name — such as his success this year.

In fact, figures released by the Rich List of Golf this week, show that Rose was the highest paid professional in English golf last year with £2 million earned in the year 2002 — £1.25 million in prizemoney and a further £750,000 in endorsements.

The three ahead of him in the British list; Padraig Harrington (£4.1m), Colin Montgomerie (£3m) and Darren Clarke (£2.2m), are all out in Augusta also this weekend, but if Rose is to challenge British sport's top earner Lennox Lewis with £17.5m in his back pocket, then victory is a must.

As it is, Rose will take one step at a time, however, and leave Lewis for later. His sights are firmly set on Tiger and who would bet against him going him a run for his money?