sport

Rose targets top spot

England's Justin Rose believes he can again follow in the footsteps of his friend Adam Scott and become world number one.

After winning his first major title in the Masters last year, Scott famously sent Rose a text message saying "This is our time". Two months later Rose was also a major champion after winning the US Open at Merion.

And now Scott has another achievement for Rose to emulate, with the Australian finally overhauling the injured Tiger Woods at the top of the world rankings on Monday despite sitting out last week's Byron Nelson Championship in Texas.

"I am thrilled for him," said 33-year-old Rose, who was born just 14 days after Scott. "It is a big moment. It doesn't matter how you get to number one. Being number one in the world for a day, a week or whatever, just to get the photo of you at the top of the world rankings is a huge achievement.

"I think a lot of guys put different emphasis on it. At the end of the day, you are the best player on the planet for a period of time. That is an achievement I would love to have at some point in my career and obviously it is a culmination of the hard work and results he has been able to put in and the consistency.

"There was a period of time for Adam where he wasn't playing well in the majors, relative to how good he was, and he has now turned that around and I think that is how he has got to world number one. In the big tournaments he is playing as well as anybody and I think that is what you have got to look at."

Rose is currently eighth in the rankings but knows it is far easier now to claim top spot than when Woods was at his prime.

"If I win my next two tournaments I am probably not far off," added Rose, who was speaking after a nearest-the-pin challenge with Matteo Manassero and Paul McGinley on three specially constructed holes in Hyde Park to promote the BMW PGA Championship.

"It is pretty condensed and the world number one ranking used to be 12 or 13 average points - it is now about eight. It is much more attainable. Anyone who is in the top 10, if they have a hot spell then you are right there knocking on the door to be world number one."

Woods is currently out of action after undergoing back surgery on March 31 and has yet to set a date for his return.

Rose, who shares the same management company as the 14-time major winner, hopes Woods can be back in action soon and is pleased the 38-year-old was in the field at Merion last year.

"I know as much as you guys do (about his return) but it would be good for the game, there is no doubt," Rose added. "I was fortunate enough that, when I won a major title, Tiger was in the field.

"It is a story to tell your grandkids. If he does go on to be the best player of all time then you can say 'He was right there and I won'."