Justin Rose says he can repel the host of young Americans who hold all the major golf titles and claim The Open crown this week despite a mediocre record.
The 37-year-old Englishman — whose best finish in his home major remains his astonishing fourth in 1998 when still an amateur — is in fine fettle heading into Thursday’s opening round at Carnoustie.
He tied for ninth at last weekend’s Scottish Open, which was his 17th top 10 finish — including four wins — since the US PGA Championship last August.
Thus the reigning Olympic champion — whose only major to date is the 2013 US Open but came frustratingly close to clinching the 2017 Masters only for Sergio Garcia to beat him in a play-off — is in an ebullient mood about his chances of holding aloft the Claret Jug come Sunday.
“Yes!,” he replied at a press conference about winning the title.
“I like this golf course, it is a fair one.
“I don’t see it as much tougher than Turnberry or Muirfield. I see them all as fair venues. There are hazards you need to avoid and you need to hit quality shots.”
Rose, ranked three in the world, says that although his past showings suggest he does not play links courses well, it does not tell the whole story.
“I am comfortable with how bad my record is here but I think I have created some better chances than my record suggests,” said Rose, whose two appearances at Carnoustie saw him miss the cut in 1999 and tie for 12th in 2007.
“I know I can play on links courses.”
Rose, whose best Open finish since 1998 is joint sixth in 2015, says patience will favour the brave on the course rather than outright aggression in attacking the sun-baked fairways.
“It will favour a patient player,” said Rose.
“Even if you play aggressively you will be up and down all week, things will go against you.
“Accepting that is the secret. That’s the beauty.”
Rose is one of the few Europeans who are realistically seen as being capable of preventing the 20-something generation of Americans — let alone the older Dustin Johnson and the returning legend Tiger Woods — taking their sixth major in succession.
Jordan Spieth, 24, is defending his title, 27-year-old Patrick Reed is The Masters champion and Brooks Koepka, 28, defended his US Open crown last month.
Aside from defying them Rose also wants The Open title for the simple reason he is targeting becoming world number one and wants to achieve that by winning big tournaments.
“In terms of getting to world number one, I have always said I want to get there by winning tournaments,” said Rose.
“That keeps my goal very simple and I want to win The Open.”