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Rose the Euro star!

JUSTIN Rose returned to his hometown Fleet as the pride of Europe after finishing his first ever US Open competition in a fine equal fifth position at Olympia Fields.

JUSTIN Rose became the pride of Europe after marking his first ever US Open tournament with a superb performance at Olympia Fields.

Rose showed nerves of steel to register four impressively-consistent rounds of golf which earned him a fine fifth place overall — above all of his fellow European competitors and indeed, world number one, Tiger Woods.

The 22-year-old superstar burst onto the American golf scene with his usual splendour to claim over £110,680 in prize money and leapfrog many of the world's top players in the in the rankings.

His weekend's work marks his best performance in a Major event since he finished joint fourth in The Open Championship as an amateur five years ago.

Rose's performance, which brought just 11 bogeys in all four rounds of competition, was dedicated to his father and mentor Ken, who died of leukaemia last year.

He said: "This has made a great father's day present for my old man. Patience was the key to this tournament, people talk about patience all the time but I had never really seen the value of it up until now.

"I feel my game has moved up a level and without saying that I feel I am ready to win a major tournament I think I am capable of it in the not too distant future."

But Rose will also dedicate his show of grit and determination to his coach David Leadbetter, after he revealed that he needed some psyching up before striking his first ball in anger.

He added: "I needed a good kick up the backside earlier in the week because I didn't feel like I was up for this Open and hadn't prepared enough. My coach gave it to me saying ‘I can't believe you're not focussed' and it worked."

Rose made a nervous start to his US Open debut with wayward driving leading to just five fairways being hit, and, inevitably, bogeys at 6, 8 and 9.

But a thrilling comeback saw Rose post birdies at 11,12, 14 and 16 to finish with a back nine total of 31 for level par.

With playing partner Jonathan Byrd safely on the leaderboard, Rose needed to continue that form going into the second day in order to stay in the hunt. But, although the birdies dried up, Rose played extremely consistently, posting no 17 pars and one bogey (at the par 5 fifth hole) to see him safely avoid missing the cut.

Work at the mid-way stage with Leadbetter proved fruitful for Rose, who then made an assault on the leaderboard with birdies at 1, 5 and 6.

But a bad start to the back nine saw bogeys at 10 and 11, and although he birdied 13, dropped shots at 14 and 17 saw him fall back to level par for the day and one-over-par overall.

Rose's early start actually worked in his favour, despite the course playing tough, and bit by bit, he started to make an impression on the leaderboard.

His 69 - the best of the week and indebted to birdies at 1, 10, 16 - saw him finish a fine one-under at the clubhouse, and that proved to be a better score than first expected as one by one, the leaders fell. Vijay Singh, Nick Price and Fredrik Jacobson were three who dwindled, leaving Rose soundly in a top ten spot which guarantees his invite again for next year.

America's Jim Furyk may have taken the plaudits after his championship-winning total of 272, but it was Rose who flew back to Europe with the broadest smile, with many new admirers in the States eager for him to return.

Rose is now taking a well-earned week's break before heading off to compete in the French Open.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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