Justin Rose will continue his comeback from injury when he tees it up in the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship today.
The Hampshire star returned to action on the PGA Tour last week, with a tied-45th finish in the Northern Trust Open, following three months out with shoulder tendinitis.
Rose, who broke his major championship duck when he won last year’s US Open, will face world no. 66 Scott Piercy in a first round match today, in Arizona over the Ritz-Carlton desert course.
The event could form an important part of his road to recovery, as he bids to have his body and game in peak condition for the Masters, in April.
“My immediate focus is just continuing to improve as a golfer and really have the discipline every week to go out and execute my skill set, which I believe is growing and getting stronger every week,” said Rose, who explained his injury could be traced back to The Barclays, last August, when he tweaked his shoulder throwing a ball some 60 or 70 yards to his caddie.
“So that’s how I’m going to play my best golf. That’s how I’m going to contend in Majors.
“Certainly, I want to be 100 percent come April.
“But it’s every day that I’m focused on, really, and working hard.
“This year for me is about just doing all the right things.
“I don’t have to change anything this year. I’m not trying to do anything different this year.
“I’m just trying to put into practice everything that I’ve learned the last ten years, because I think my game is right there.”
Rose, the world number five, has been encouraged by how sharp he has been during practice, and is hoping that form will translate onto the course, as he builds up towards the first major of the season.
“My game’s felt really good at home,” said the 33-year-old.
“I’m swinging it really nicely and everything technically looks really good.
“I had an opportunity to spend a lot of time on my short game, but when you get a scorecard in your hand everything is a little different.”
If Rose beats American Piercy, he will face the winner of the contest between Ernie Els and Stephen Gallacher in the second round.