Rose Hoping to End Brits Open Drought

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CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Justin Rose failed to qualify for the past three British Opens. Now he's back and hoping to end an eight-year shutout in majors for British golfers.
 
Paul Lawrie's victory at Carnoustie in 1999 was the last time any British -- or European -- golfer won a major, and that has become almost as embarrassing to the locals as Colin Montgomerie's failure to win even one.
 
The return to Carnoustie has fueled hopes of a British repeat here, and Rose appears to be the leading candidate. He tied for fifth at the Masters and 10th at the U.S. Open after being close to the lead early in both.
 
'Having played well in the last two majors, beginning to believe that's where I belong and just that alone makes it much easier to go out there and let it happen,' Rose said Wednesday.
 
The English golfer leads several British contenders -- Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Montgomerie among others -- who are trying to bring the title back home.
 
'Hopefully, I will be a contender,' said Rose, who came onto the Open scene in 1998 when he tied for fourth at Royal Birkdale as a 17-year-old amateur. He turned pro the next day.
 
'I certainly take a lot of confidence in what happened at Augusta and the U.S. Open,' he said. 'I felt I was in the tournament from the word go and in the tournament all week. I felt comfortable being in and around the hunt. For two good experiences to be so close together, should a third come around, it might be easier.'
 
Rose has had a good season. He won his first tournament, the MasterCard Masters at Melbourne, Australia last year. He lost a playoff in the BMW Championship in Germany just before the U.S. Open and finished third at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic on the PGA TOUR. He has seven top-10 finishes and hasn't missed a cut in 11 outings.
 
Tony Jacklin, the first British player in 18 years to win the Open when he triumphed at Royal Lytham in 1969, says Rose as a definite contender.
 
'Rose is the one who has my attention,' said Jacklin, who followed his Open win with a long-overdue British victory in the U.S. Open a year later. 'After Birkdale he went through a tough time, but the fact is he's still there, still beating on it. And he's making headway, getting confidence all the time.'
 
Rose said that more majors could follow for British golfers once somebody ends the drought.
 
'It's probably going to be one of those situations that, when one of the guys breaks through, you'll probably find quite a few will,' he said. 'What is it going to take for us to just get to that next level? I think we're all trying to find out exactly what that is.
 
'Paul (Casey) at the U.S. Open was saying he would love to be the first Brit to win a major -- and so would I -- first for a long time,' Rose said. 'I think we're all pushing ourselves and we're all aware of the fact that it's true.'
 
Rose played a practice round with Nick Faldo on Tuesday and hoped that some of the detached determination that made his countryman a three-time Open and three-time Masters winner might rub off on him.
 
'You've got to look at what's worked for a six-time major champion and certainly other major champions and there's definitely that single-mindedness they have,' Rose said. 'I don't know whether I could be better at it. But I think that's something that I can look at to try and, maybe, when the time is right, to make your game.'
 
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