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Inside the Ropes: No rest for Rose after U.S. Open victory

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Justin Rose could have taken a vacation after winning the U.S. Open, and no one would have blamed him.

However, he kept his commitment to play last week in the Travelers Championship, and he also will be in the field this week for the AT&T National at Congressional, a tournament he won in 2010 at Aronimink near Philadelphia.

And the 32-year-old Englishman never thought of doing anything else.

"The way I set up my preparation for the U.S. Open, I set it up as a three-week run, mentally just trying to stay fresh for three weeks," said Rose, who finished in a very respectable tie for 13th in the Travelers.

"The way I prepared for the U.S. Open (this year), only getting there Tuesday night was intentional to play well at the U.S. Open, but I knew I was also playing two tournaments on the back end of the U.S. Open as well.

"So the whole thought process has been a three-week run, so I figured I won't interrupt that."

Another reason Rose didn't change his plans is because this is a stretch of the PGA Tour schedule during which he made his bones in 2010, when he showed he could play at the highest level on the best tour in the world.

Rose claimed the European Tour's 2007 Order of Merit, or money title, when he captured the Volvo Masters, which was the final event of the season at the time.

Filled with confidence, he headed for the PGA Tour, but it took awhile to establish himself in the U.S.

In 2010, he didn't qualify for the U.S. Open, but instead of letting it get him down, he won the Memorial Tournament and the AT&T National a few weeks apart for his first two victories on the PGA Tour.

"I think 2010 was a turning point in my career," said Rose, who could have made it three consecutive victories had he not coughed up a lead in the Travelers in between those two wins. "I had won golf tournaments around the world, but I think not until I won on the PGA Tour did I start to really develop that depth of confidence.

"Winning the Memorial was a fantastic win, getting that monkey off my back. Every time I was in the States, I had to answer questions about this is your 120th start, or whatever it was, and you haven't won. So it was nice to get that out of the way.

"But I won the Memorial from chasing the pack, and then I actually came to Travelers and let a lead slip. ... Then I went to AT&T, built a big lead and closed it out, but only just."

Rose has talked about how becoming a major champion generally is a process, and that he wasn't finished with it yet.

Even though he admittedly should have won more often, he continued to take bigger steps, winning the 2011 BMW Championship during the PGA Tour playoffs and capturing the 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship, the biggest victory of his career to that point.

"Again, the learning curve, another win under my belt, but not winning in the fashion that I was really, really proud of," he said of the AT&T National. "More learning experiences. Then my third win at Cog Hill, a playoff event, and another elevation stature of event. I won wire to wire there, and that was, again, more confidence.

"Then winning a World Golf Championship at Doral on Bermuda (grass). I had never played particularly well on Bermuda grass, never won on Bermuda. Again, another step forward for me. That's been my progression. That's where I've developed more of the confidence and the ability to get me to this point."

By winning at Merion, he became the first Englishman to claim the U.S. Open title since Tony Jacklin in 1970 at Hazeltine, and the first to capture a major crown since Nick Faldo at the 1996 Masters.

Rose burst onto the scene at the age of 17 by holing a wedge shot from the rough on the final hole of the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale to finish as low amateur in a tie for fourth.

After turning pro a short time later, he missed the cut in his first 21 tournaments but never gave up, eventually joining Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter in something of a Fab Four in English golf.

Who would have figured that Rose would be the first to break through in a major?

"He had that audacious chip in at Birkdale when he was 17 and then witnessed the difficult time he had after turning pro and all the struggles that he had, and to fight through that takes a lot of courage, and what was shown was exactly that," Jacklin told BBC Radio.

"He's a good guy and he's good for the game, and he hopefully will open the door for more British players to give us some of the same."

With Rose knocking down that door, Donald, Westwood or Poulter might be next in three weeks at Muirfield.
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