Rose will battle on despite hectic schedule
US Open champion to tee in up at Travelers Championship
US Open champion Justin Rose paid a visit to the New York Stock Exchange following his victory at Merion. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Newly-crowned US Open champion Justin Rose’s self-belief helped him make his breakthrough into golf’s elite but he admits he is unsure just how he will perform this week.
The 32-year-old tees off in the Travelers Championship, a regulation PGA Tour event, just four days after holding four-time Major champion Phil Mickelson at bay during a tense final round at Merion.
He insists he never had a second thought about playing in this tournament but having not eaten or slept properly since Sunday, having undertaken various media obligations, he is aware he may experience something of a performance hangover in Harford.
“This week is going to be ‘Let’s wait and see how I play’,” he said. “I have to be lenient on myself from that perspective.
“My game is in good shape and we’ll see how it carries through. I think adrenaline can get you through, especially if you get off to a good start because you can get on the leaderboard and then start to focus on winning.
“But I am aware it can go the other way and I have to be a bit easy on myself - but I am still expecting to go out there and put in a good performance.
“The same disciplines which applied at the US Open still apply this week and my goal is to be as sharp as I can mentally while looking forward to a slight breather from a scoring point of view.”
He has had little chance to recharge his batteries following a whistle-stop media tour to New York on his way to Connecticut.
“Last night was the first time I’d had a chance to see the kids (four-year-old Leo and Lottie, one),” he added.
“I made Sunday about my father (Ken, who died in 2002) but the fact I am a dad as well meant I was really looking forward to seeing my kids.
“The kids normally do a good job of keeping me grounded. They couldn’t care less about the big shiny trophy in the house – my son made a clay trophy for Fathers Day and I told him that was the best trophy.
“I’m looking forward to spending time with the family and trying to get some early nights in and recharge.
“I also need to eat well. I feel that I haven’t had a meal at a regular time for three or four days so I need to get back to some good habits.”
The Harford event has been kind to Rose in the past with three top-10s so that – and the fact it was part of a planned schedule which has worked well for him previously – meant he did not consider a late withdrawal.
“It is a tournament I really enjoy, it is almost an old-school PGA tour event, it has a lot of history,” he added.
“I have always had a really good time here, the tournament has treated me well over the years.
“The way I set up my preparation for the US Open was a three-week run trying to stay fresh mentally. I figured I wouldn’t interrupt the thought process.”
Pádraig Harrington will be hoping to build a solid performance at Merion, where he finished as the leading Irishman.
The Dubliner closed with a 72 last Sunday to finish in a tie for 21st position on 11 over and is among the early starters in his opening round, teeing off in the company of American Brendan Steele and Canada’s Stephen Ames at 12.30pm Irish time.