• Open Championship

Rose has No.1 in his sights

Alex Perry at Royal Liverpool
July 16, 2014
A third win in three would almost certainly take Justin Rose to world No.1 © PA Photos

Come Sunday, not only could we see crowned a new Champion Golfer of the Year - the title bestowed on the winner of the Open Championship - but maybe a new world No.1, too.

Adam Scott, having taken the title from Tiger Woods in May, could be replaced by Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Bubba Watson or Jason Day should they lift the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake. Day, the world No.6, has a chance over No.5 Matt Kuchar because the Australian has been injured, so his tournament divisor is lower.

For third-ranked Rose to become the just the fourth player from the UK to reach world No.1 in the Tiger Woods-era, he would need to win and Scott to finish outside the top 40.

22 years of hurt

Sir Nick Faldo: England's last Open champion © PA Photos
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Ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Rose told ESPN that "it would be nice to be able to one day tell people you were the best player in the world".

But while it remains a "career goal" for the 33-year-old Englishman, it is not the main focus in the build up to the season's third major.

"I have always focused on winning major championships [more] than chasing No.1," Rose said. "I think that's just a really nice by-product of your process and improving as a golfer.

"If it happens, it happens. Right now, I'm focused on this week. And the fact that gives me the opportunity, then brilliant. But it's really not front and centre right now."

Scott, meanwhile, is not ready to give up his place atop the rankings just yet.

"I've enjoyed the last couple of months immensely," he said. "I think it's been such a process to get to this childhood dream and achieve it that I've tried hard to keep myself there for a little bit.

"I will be trying hard again this week to win some more points to stay up there. But obviously the goal is to win a golf tournament this week, not just stay No.1.

"I think one day I'll look back on it as an incredible achievement. But it's hard to reflect too much on things you do when you're in the middle of playing your career. I don't think there's time for stopping and reflecting at the moment. But one day it will be something that I'm very proud of."

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