17 Jan 2018

Rose excited with his ever-improving ability

Justin Rose will be aiming to start the new year as he finished the last as the Englishman revealed the recipe for a perfect off season and how his long-term approach to the sport has paid dividence as he looks to add to his solitary Major and help Europe regain the Ryder Cup in a jam-packed 2018.

“I did nothing during my break,” said the Englishman who narrowly missed out on becoming Race to Dubai champion in 2017. “I think I put so much effort into the end of last season, not just mentally but also physically, I travelled a lot, went through a lot of time zones. So for me it was really important in order to protect and preserve my form, was to do nothing. I felt as if I was reinvesting in myself. I stayed in the gym all Christmas, kept the body moving, kept the body fit but didn’t really focus too much on the golf side of things. I think that’s important. I always spend a week or two where I don’t touch a club around Christmas.

“I think it’s really important to miss the game. I kind of like to have that itch to play again, then I know it’s time to go. So that’s normally my formula. For me this year, I’m not taking a prolonged off-season, so in order to keep my form going; it’s not an eight-week break. I knew that I needed to take some time off, but I wasn’t going to take a prolonged break as I wanted to keep the momentum up.”

The World No.6 finished 2017 strongly after playing himself into contention in the Race to Dubai with back to back wins for the first time in his career at WGC- HSBC Champions and the Turkish Airlines but a poor back nine on the final day at Jumeirah Golf Estates opened the door for Tommy Fleetwood to seal top spot. Rose would then go on to win the Indonesian Masters by 8-strokes and based on this form looks certain to set courses alight once again but the 37-year-old insisted it’s not all about the year ahead.

“I’m excited for the year ahead; I’m really enjoying my golf but I’m looking at it long term. I’m looking at what I can really achieve in the next five years,” said the Ryder Cup veteran. “The level of excitement in terms of this year is not heightened because of what’s just happened. I think what happened in the last six months or so has been due to my long-term approach and being excited about where I feel I can go with my game.

“I still think there’s areas of improvement that can be made as I go through the season. So I’m still in my journey. I still feel like I’m ticking boxes every single week of getting better, but there’s no doubt I’m excited about this year but also the next few.”

The Brit’s main focus now is this weekend and he will be hoping to cement his third appearance in the UAE capital’s sole European Tour event with victory to get his season off to a flyer.

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