Rose and Clarke upbeat
Justin Rose and Darren Clarke both say they will head for next week’s US PGA Championship in good heart.
Justin Rose and Darren Clarke both say they will head for next week’s US PGA Championship in good heart, this despite disappointing finishes at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.
Rose shot a closing 69 at Firestone, his third sub-par round of the week, but still not enough to get into red figures following an opening 75.
Rose birdied two of the last three holes to finish one over for the week and his confidence restored has he sets off to Hazeltine for the final major of the year.
“Although perhaps I didn’t play as well this week as I did at The Open or the AT&T at Congressional (in early July), I think this has been the perfect warm up for me,” Rose said.
“I had two weeks off and sometimes there is a bit of rustiness in your game and you have to get your thinking going again.
“But all in all, I am encouraged for next week. I played Hazeltine in 2002 and did fairly well as a young kid so I am looking forward to going back.
“I don’t remember much about it and we’ll see what’s in store for us when I get there but I take a lot of confidence there from three rounds in the 60s here.”
Northern Ireland’s Clarke finished one stroke ahead of Rose at level par on a course where he won the WGC-Bridgestone in 2003.
Clarke enjoyed a week of consistency and gradual improvement with rounds of 71, 70, 70 and 69 and he said he was looking forward to Hazeltine, courtesy of an invitation from the PGA of America.
“There is a lot of encouragement in there for me,” Clarke said.
“I didn’t play my absolute best out there, even today, but I did not bad. I left some shots out there but I have had two weeks off where I didn’t do much apart from lie on a beach.
“Sometimes you need that just to recharge the batteries but it means when you do come back that you find time to get your eye in so this hasn’t been bad.
“Although it is not quite where I want it to be, I am really looking forward to going to Hazeltine.
“The guys at the PGA of America have been very kind in giving me an invite to play in the tournament and the fact I have a little bit of form going to it means I am very much looking forward to it.”
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