Rose draws on Merion memories

Justin Rose admits he will enjoy teeing up at Augusta National this week without the burden of seeking his maiden major championship.

Rose, 33, set himself apart from European contemporaries such as Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia by finally claiming one of golf's crown jewels at the US Open last year.

And having been thrust into the spotlight with a fourth-place finish as a 17-year-old amateur at the Open Championship in 1997, Rose knows he can draw on the experience of his victory at Merion last June to help him add to his tally ahead of his ninth US Masters, which begins on Thursday, live on Sky Sports.

"I think you do come in here looking at increasing your tally of major championships, not just searching for your first one, but to feel like you can go on in your career to win multiple major championships and knock off your next one that you haven't won," he said.

"So you're in a sense trying to work your way through all of them. But at least knowing you've won a major championship and knowing that you've faced those emotions before and you've come through, it's a huge benefit turning up here this week."

Shoulder problem

Rose has struggled this year after recovering from a shoulder injury he believes he sustained while throwing his ball to his caddie during a tournament, but believes two weeks of rest have helped cure the problem.

"It was more of an overuse injury, tendonitis, a little bit that sort of flared up but no trauma in the area. So it's been a case of getting it settled down and, thank goodness, now feeling great and can carry on," he added.

"I'm kind of off the back of two weeks off, which it's been I think a really productive two weeks for me. I feel I've got a lot of work done with my game and also my approach really for the rest of the season."

Time off the course means despite being the US Open champion Rose arrives at Augusta very much under the radar, but he feels he has a great chance on a course he favours.

"I think my chances are good," said Rose, who finished fifth in the 2007 Masters. "I feel like it's a golf course that I've played well and played some great rounds on. The course suits my eye.

No hype

"I think I'm in a great place coming into this tournament. I'm coming in as a major champion, but I'm coming in with no hype, no expectation, a little under the radar and I feel good with where my game is at.

"I always dreamed about winning majors, plural, as a kid. Winning at Merion was amazing and there's been a period of time where you adjust to that and you've got to figure what's next, and I feel like I'm at that place now and I feel very energized for this year and beyond.

"I'm coming into this week with a similar preparation to how I came into Merion.

"I did a lot of my work the week or two prior to the tournament and went back and practiced what I felt I was going to need. Then you turn up at the tournament a little bit later, a little fresher.

"In the past I've always tried to get ready for Thursday and now I try to get ready for Saturday and Sunday. I try to assume my game will put me in contention and I try to get ready for that."