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Rose fancies run at McIlroy's No. 1 status

ESPN staff
January 22, 2013 « Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena | Chartbeat test »
Justin Rose came up just short in his bid for victory in Abu Dhabi © Getty Images
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Justin Rose believes supplanting Rory McIlroy as world No. 1 is a possibility for him over the next few years, following a fine start to his 2013 campaign.

After finishing 2012 strongly, Rose set the tone for a positive 12 months ahead with a second-placed finish at last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, as he started his season in the Middle East for the first time in his career.

And the Englishman, currently fourth in the rankings, believes he has reached a level where he can now challenge the Northern Irishman for the top spot.

"The thought of being world No. 1 is on my radar for the first time ever, it's there in the distance," Rose said. "It's a lot of hard work, though.

"People don't realise when you're four or five world ranking points behind someone, that's an awful lot of points. There are a lot of variables.

"Obviously we expect Rory to keep moving forward in the game so it's only going to happen with a remarkable run over a couple of years. So certainly not worth over-thinking about and you just have to improve your game, but it's a motivation certainly."

Rose is in Doha this week, as he prepares for the Qatar Masters. He is hopeful of another solid performance in the event - which starts on Wednesday - and does not expect any adverse reaction after narrowly missing out on victory last Sunday.

"It was disappointing not to win, obviously, having led for three rounds and having a two-shot lead on the Sunday," Rose added. "But I look back on Sunday and feel like I made a lot of right decisions and did a lot of things very well.

"I don't live and die by the results, so it doesn't make any difference really. I'm not dwelling on last week whatsoever.

"I think I gained something last week, I certainly didn't lose anything. I'm very happy with where my game is and I want to continue in the same vein here in Qatar."

He added: "You need to have control over what you're doing out there on the course and the rough is quite thick as well, so it's quite unforgiving, which is a kind of test I relish.

"So I'm hoping that again this week is another good week to go out and test my game against a good golf course and a good field.

"That's what I want all year long, just keep showing up, keep working hard and keep executing and that's going to put me in position to win a lot of golf tournaments."

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