World number three on the Official World Golf ranking Justin Rose will start this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge as the defending champion.
However, he admits that this doesn’t necessarily give him an edge over the other participants.
Last year, Rose finished ahead of current world number one Brooks Koepka at the Colonial Country Club when he finished three strokes clear of the American.
It was a beautiful day at the @MetLife Colonial Pro-Am today. We caught Charles Schwab *THE MAN* teeing off at #1 with our 2018 Champion @JustinRose99 looking on. #schwabchallenge pic.twitter.com/Gx08LQc7HN
— Charles Schwab Challenge (@CSChallengeFW) May 23, 2019
“It was a special week for me last year,” said Rose, who finished with a 20-under-par total.
“I played some of probably my best golf – certainly on the PGA Tour – that I can remember.
“I have my name now on the wall on the first tee. It’s an honour because there are so many great names on that wall and I saw it today for the first time. That was a cool moment.”
Only Ben Hogan was able to retain the title in Fort Worth and Rose has said that it is very hard to win back-to-back titles in golf given the large number of competitors in every field.
“It shouldn’t be harder to win at the same venue,” he said. “Some major championships you win and the following year you’re not even back at the same venue, so there should be a greater chance of winning somewhere where you have already won.
— Justin ROSE (@JustinRose99) May 22, 2019
“From that point of view I’d probably say the odds are better than just if it was any other week where I haven’t won before, but it’s tough to beat 120 or 156 guys – whatever is in the field – every week on the PGA Tour.”
The Brit was not at his best at the PGA Championship this year where he finished in tied-29th place on five over par, but he believes he can still take something out of it going into the Charles Schwab Challenge.
“I haven’t historically played much after a major championship,” he said.
“Last week I rolled into that major a little bit more like it was a regular event, I didn’t go the weekend before and really try and grind out the course because it’s a course I know pretty well anyway.
“I felt pretty fresh last week and because of how I prepared for the PGA, I think I’m now going to be able to go nicely through the next two weeks because I’m playing next week at the Memorial as well.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 22, 2019
“I feel like there’s good energy. If you can pick to peak at a major championship you’re going to do that every time, but I feel like this is a three-week run of golf and hopefully, I will find my best at some point in this run.”
He will start in the afternoon together with European Ryder Cup star Francesco Molinari and American Brandt Snedeker at Colonial on Thursday.
Interesting to know that this year’s winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge will get a very cool prize – a fully restored 1973 Dodge Challenger.
*Odds are subject to change