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Strange: A Rose repeat would be 'fantastic'

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PINEHURST, N.C. – It’s been a quarter-century since the last back-to-back U.S. Open champion, and Justin Rose is the only player who can break that trend this week.

“Obviously that's the plan this week,” he said Tuesday. “For me being defending champion, I don't even like that word, defending, because it puts you in already behind the eight ball. You don't want to be out there being defensive at all. So I'm just really excited about the opportunity this week presents. Obviously, it is only one guy who has the opportunity to repeat, and but I'm seeing that as a pressure-free situation.”

Rose prevailed last year at Merion, meaning he can match Curtis Strange’s feat from 1988 and ’89. The current television analyst is hoping it will happen.

“I'm not a Miami Dolphins-type person; I'm not rooting against him; I'm not drinking champagne Sunday night,” Strange explained. “If Justin would happen to do it this year, that would be the first phone call. That would be fantastic.”