Justin Rose joked he would be ‘scared’ to celebrate with new Open Champion, Shane Lowry because he’d unsure if he’d get through the night.
Rose has journeyed to Memphis for this week’s renamed WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind having dropped down the board in dreadful conditions during Sunday’s concluding Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Former US Open winning Rose finished T20th behind Lowry but after a disappointing final round, he admits the scenes he witnessed at Royal Portrush Golf Club were “amazing”.
“Had I won The Open last week, I would have had my friends and family and my local golf club that had probably done something special for me, but I don’t think it would have been the homecoming and amazing environment that Shane’s enjoying,” he said.
“The Irish people really got behind him, whether it was Northern Ireland or Irish. There was no border it didn’t seem like, everyone was right behind him, which is fantastic.
“I would be scared to celebrate with Shane because it’d be a big night!”
He added: “I really enjoyed the golf course. I think it was a golf course that didn’t have a bad hole on it.
“Obviously Shane, especially on the Saturday, kind of got it going, went low, and on Sunday it was a classic links day that it just gets ugly and any golf course is really, really tough in those conditions.
“Portrush was the perfect test in the sense that it was still playable on Sunday. Not for me, it wasn’t playable, but it was still playable on Sunday.
“Disappointing finish obviously for myself but Shane showed that if you played well and managed your game well and you hit the right shot at the right time, even par was doable out there on Sunday.”
Rose is a winner of two WGC titles in his career and tees-up in the city made famous by Elvis Presley looking to win for a second occasion this year after capturing the Farmers Insurance Open in February.
Rose’s last World Golf Championships victory came at the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2017, five years after he won the WGC-Championship.
Later in 2012 he went on to defeat Phil Mickelson in a remarkable Ryder Cup singles match as Europe completed the Miracle of Medinah, and the World Number Four believes his maiden WGC win was a big stepping stone on his way to winning the 2013 U.S. Open Championship.
“I won a WGC in 2012 along with the Ryder Cup,” he said. “That kind of gave me that belief that I was ready to win a Major.”
Rory McIlroy gets his tournament bid underway at 18.59 in the marquee group of the first two days alongside Jason Day and Brooks Koepka.