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Rose inspired, motivated by Tour's young stars

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SAN DIEGO – With much of the focus on golf’s young stars, it’s easy to forget that the window hasn’t exactly closed on some of the PGA Tour’s more seasoned players. 

After all, nine of the top 15 players in the world are 30 or older. 

“It’s inspiring to see what the young guys are doing,” said 35-year-old Justin Rose, the seventh-ranked player in the world, “but at the same time, it’s also motivating to keep pace.”

Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler – average age: 25.8 – have combined to win 19 titles since Feb. 1 of last year. 

The only other players to win multiple Tour events last season were Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker, both 37.

Earlier this wraparound season, for the first time in Tour history, four consecutive events were won by players age 23 or younger. 

“I would hope it’s motivating them,” Fowler said of his 30-something peers. “I definitely get motivated seeing friends and other guys play well. I feel like it pushes me to want to be better, to want to be out there and doing the same thing.”

Before this recent spate of young major winners – save for 39-year-old Zach Johnson, who prevailed at St. Andrews – players such as Adam Scott, Jason Dufner and Rose recently broke through for their first major title. 

The next generation might pack more firepower, but Rose says he still has plenty of major opportunities remaining.  

“I still feel, at 35 now, that my best golf is still ahead of me,” he said. “I’m still in that sweet spot where I’m feeling fit and feeling fresh and feeling young, I’m feeling experienced, and hopefully I can use all those attributes to still play my greatest golf yet.”