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Justin Rose focused on ending year at top of world rankings

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-09-19 06:25:13

Justin Rose insists it will be business as usual on the golf course in Atlanta as he prepares for his first tournament as the world No 1 at the Tour Championship.

Rose, in his 20th year as a professional, dethroned Dustin Johnson at the top of the world rankings with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his last two starts, although he had mixed emotions after losing a play-off to Keegan Bradley at the BMW Championship.

But the Englishman has enjoyed a week off to let his achievement sink in, and he is determined to enjoy the experience while remaining focused on his game as he bids for a victory which would earn him the title of FedExCup champion, and the $10m bonus that goes with it.

"It's a moment in your career that you always remember and cherish," he said. "I think I've always said whether you're defending champion at a tournament or if you've played somewhere well the previous year or if you're world No 1, the golf course doesn't recognise it.

"So from my point of view, I want to enjoy playing my first event as world No 1, but I also understand that really nothing should change, so to speak, and good consistent golf is what's got me to the top, and now the challenge is to stay there doing the same stuff.

"I accept it's really tight up top, and it could easily switch this week. I just feel that if I go to second or third this week, if Dustin and Brooks (Koepka) both play well, I have an opportunity the week after at the British Masters, and going to China and Turkey, there are going to be opportunities to get back there.

"So I'd love to end the year as world No 1, I'd say that's a goal. I think if I lose it between now and then, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it because it is so tight at the top. Literally, if I finish seventh this week and Brooks finishes sixth, he'll go to No 1, so it is that tight."

Rose believes he still has improvements to make in his long game, but he agrees that more consistent putting over the last year has been a key factor in his rise to the top of the rankings.

"I think that is very much the case," he said. "I feel like I haven't hit the ball this year as I have in previous years, and I wish I could have had everything absolutely buttoned up, but maybe that's next year.

"That's the great thing, having got to No 1, I can still look at my game and pinpoint areas where I know there's gaps to fill, and that's the exciting thing.

"For me, obviously No 1 is a milestone, but it's not really the end of any sort of journey. I still feel motivated to wake up in the morning and find those little gaps. But if you start making too many changes and you start looking under too many rocks for answers, you can begin to forget what's worked.

"And I think for me, just the putting side, I've simplified it. I haven't added more to putt better, I've taken things away and simplified in order to putt better. So improvement can be a double-edged sword. If you try too hard for it and you don't understand the processes that are in place, the work, you can get lost real quick."

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