Justin Rose believes he has enough energy in the tank to challenge for a third win in succession at the Open Championship this week.
Rose admitted he was in uncharted territory after cruising to victory in the Scottish Open here yesterday to claim back-to-back wins for the first time in his career.
The 2013 US Open champion, who won the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour a fortnight ago, will now try to follow in the footsteps of Phil Mickelson by claiming his second major title at Hoylake.
Mickelson, who won at Castle Stuart 12 months ago before lifting the Claret Jug at Muirfield a week later, carded a closing 65 but only moved up six places to joint 11th on a day of phenomenal low scoring at Royal Aberdeen.
Rose had not played the event for the past two years but said: “I thought I would try and do a Phil this year and put it on my schedule. So far, so good.
“I’ve won two in a row now so I’ve put the pressure on myself. There’s no one to blame but me. It’s uncharted territory for me, I’ve never won two in a row before, never mind three.
“It’s unbelievable to be back in the winners’ circle so quickly but right now I am feeling great. I don’t feel the two wins have taken a lot out of me. I feel that I’ve taken it in my stride.
“The Open is going to come around quickly so tonight is going to be calm and relaxed. I will enjoy the moment but my mind will definitely be back in the game as of tomorrow.”
Asked if he had ever been in better form ahead of the Open, Rose added: “In 2010 you could argue I came in with as much form having won two events, but at the same time I was just beginning to play well then. Now I have been playing well for four or five years so am a lot more comfortable with the expectations this time around.”
With the course defenceless after morning rain and no wind, Rose took full advantage by storming to the turn in 31, moving three ahead of the field after sharing the overnight lead with Scotland’s Marc Warren.
Rose, who moves from sixth in the world rankings to a joint career high of third, managed just one more birdie on the back nine but completed a flawless 65 to finish 16 under par, two ahead of Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg with Warren another three shots back in third.