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'World Cup stress could blow title defence'

ESPN staff
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Justin Rose begins the defence of his US Open crown at Pinehurst on Thursday © Getty Images
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Justin Rose is considering avoiding England's World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday in case the stress of supporting his country makes him blow his US Open title defence.

Rose has learned from the experience of watching his country in 2010, when their defeat by Germany in the last 16 left him so upset that he let slip a three-stroke lead on the final day at the Travelers Championship.

Bore draw?

  • Justin Rose need not worry about the prospect of missing England's World Cup opener with Italy because, according to Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari, it will be a "boring match".
  • The Italian, speaking exclusively to ESPN's Alex Perry, also reveals his "obsession" with the Ryder Cup, and why he thinks Tiger Woods' injury could be a "blessing in disguise" for the US team.
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"We always seem to lose to Germany and that was a particularly emotional football match," said Rose. "Although it was on at 10am over here and I wasn't teeing off until 2pm, I never really calmed down and I went out and lost that event.

"So I would be more careful about my emotions this time, although if I am leading the US Open and I swerve my press conference to watch the game I could be a national hero."

Rose may be a passionate England fan but he does not rate their chances of success in Brazil and believes there is a far better chance of him or one of his English playing peers lifting the US Open trophy.

"Before I won my major there were about four or five of us Englishmen you couldn't really separate - it could have been any one of our weeks at anytime," Rose said. "And it could still happen for any one of us here this week, or at the Open or the USPGA.

"We're all good enough, it's just about in the final moment having that bit of luck and self-belief to hit the right shot at the right time. I would say there's more chance of one of us winning here than England winning the World Cup, unfortunately."

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