Rose aims to capitalise on Olympic mettle

Rio gold medallist Justin Rose (centre), flanked by Henrik Stenson (silver, left) and Matt Kuchar (bronze). Rose wants to ensure that his form at The Barclays shows he can "put a run together".
Rio gold medallist Justin Rose (centre), flanked by Henrik Stenson (silver, left) and Matt Kuchar (bronze). Rose wants to ensure that his form at The Barclays shows he can "put a run together". PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

FARMINGDALE (New York) • Justin Rose, still feeling the glow of winning the Olympic golf gold medal at the Rio Games, says he hopes the experience will carry him on a strong run into The Barclays tournament today.

He prevailed in Rio in a tight final-round duel with British Open champion Henrik Stenson and the Briton said the reaction to his victory has been overwhelming.

"The whole experience... exceeded my expectations and certainly winning has blown me away in terms of the reach that it has and the global audience that it has," Rose told reporters at Bethpage Black, where The Barclays will kick off the FedExCup play-offs today.

"I've really noticed a difference from people's reactions."

Even as he was shuttled by golf cart to the media interview room, New York fans recognised the Englishman and shouted congratulations to him along the way.

Rose, 36, limited himself to four tournaments between May's Players Championship and the Olympics, nursing a back injury. But he now feels fit and fresh heading into the FedExCup and the Ryder Cup in the final weeks of the season.

"Obviously I feel confident with my game. It's the first time in a while I've been in contention and to put it away was a great feeling," he said about his Rio triumph.

"I'm beginning to putt well and beginning to be comfortable."

He is gearing up for a crack at the US$10 million (S$13.5 million) bonus prize for topping the list in the FedExCup play-offs. "Hopefully I can put a run together. Shouldn't be (a) one-and-done," he said.

Stenson is also confident after winning the British Open and Olympic silver.

"Historically I've always played well early in the year and late in the year, and then I guess at some point I managed to tweak it around a little bit," the Swede said.

"It's exciting that you can really turn it on. It's good tournaments against the best players, and I always like to try and bring my best game when I'm up against the best. Yeah, I hope I can do that again."

Stenson has not had a break of more than a week between tournaments since May. That includes his one-week break after the Olympics, when he did not touch a club at all.

"I came out, practised today and luckily the ball went up and it went forward," Stenson said with a grin.

"So I guess we got all the right answers that we wanted to."

REUTERS


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2016, with the headline 'Rose aims to capitalise on Olympic mettle'. Print Edition | Subscribe