• Quicken Loans National

Return of Tiger makes tournament feel 'special' - Rose

ESPN staff
June 25, 2014
Rose said he was eager to test himself against the best once again © Getty Images

Justin Rose has admitted that having Tiger Woods in the field for this week's Quicken Loans National makes the tournament feel "more special".

Multiple major-winner Woods returns to golf at Congressional Country Club on Thursday having been out since March with a back injury.

And former U.S. Open champion Rose said that, although Woods's game might be a little rusty on his return to the PGA Tour, he was eager to test himself against the best.

"Just from an atmosphere point of view, [Woods] definitely brings out people to play, people to watch," Rose said. "From a player's point of view, you want to compete against the best, you want to play against the best and if you manage to beat the best, it's a great feeling. I always felt if you win a tournament and Tiger is in the field, it makes it feel probably that bit more special."

Rose also suggested that Woods would be using the this week's tournament, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, to sharpen his game for the Open, which gets under way on July 13 at Royal Liverpool.

"I think there's an element of getting the rust off," Rose said. "If I was Tiger Woods I would probably be looking at The Open Championship and the decision to play here is because he doesn't want to be rusty at The Open Championship.

"I always feel like there's a slight lag effect: You can have your game on the range but it might take a week or two weeks or having a scorecard in your hand for five or six rounds.

"Obviously, Tiger, he always talks about being here to win and I'm sure that is the case, but I'm sure there could be an element of looking a week or two ahead for The Open Championship."

Rose, 33, goes into the Quicken Loans National off the back of some solid, if unspectacular results. He has made five top-15 finishes in his last six tournaments, finishing 12th in his defence of the U.S. Open.

But while he will be hoping to improve on his world No.10 ranking, Rose admitted he was drawn to watching Woods's return unfold at Congressional.

"There's always a fascination in terms of watching Tiger play golf and the run that he's been on throughout his career and what he still has to achieve in terms of his goals," Rose said. "I think golf will get really exciting if he starts winning a couple more majors and the race to 18 becomes incredibly on again."

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