Rose seeking fourth WGC title
Justin Rose closed 2017 with a win in one World Golf Championship event and he hopes to kick-start this year with victory in another at the Mexico Championship.
Rose's sensational final-round overhaul of Dustin Johnson's eight-shot lead in the HSBC Champions last November was a highlight of the golfing year and the Englishman feels it has longer-term significance.
My mindset this year is to be a little bit more aggressive.Justin Rose
"Whenever you win before the New Year rolls around you kind of feel like you've put some points on the board and some credit in the bank," he said ahead of his first round at Chapultepec Golf Club. "But now this is the beginning of a long run of golf and I'm coming in fresh.
"I travelled so much at the end of last year and the beginning of this year that I kind of knew there might be a cost to that at some point, so I just pre-emptively took a few weeks off."
Twelve months ago Rose failed to break 70 in his four rounds of the Mexico City course and he's aware of its tricky nature.
"It's a fun golf course," he said. "But altitude is key. It's not just the standard calculations, it's not just 10 per cent extra across the board. It seems to change with different clubs. When you get into the middle of the bag with the 8, 7, 6-iron, the ball seems to go its furthest.
"I believe I was actually No.1 in strokes gained tee to green last year, even though I finished T38th, which means I putted pretty poorly. I remember I just struggled on the putting green even from day one."
With ten top-five finishes from 41 WGC starts, three of them wins, Rose feel comfortable at this level of competition, even if this level of altitude needs some adjusting to.
"My mindset this year is to be a little bit more aggressive," he concluded. "Then hopefully take my chances."
Rose is 22/1 to win the tournament outright, 14/5 to finish as Top Englishman and 2/1 in his first round three-ball against Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.
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