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Rose ready for tilt at Claret Jug

ESPN staff
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Rose needed just a single play-off hole to win his first title in a year at Congressional © Getty Images
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Justin Rose is convinced his first victory in a year will spur him on to challenge for the Open title later this month.

Rose returned home a winner after beating the American Shawn Stefani in a play-off at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional on Sunday, securing his first title since his 2013 US Open triumph.

The Briton believes the victory, which came with the added bonus of securing a near-certain Ryder Cup berth, sets him up for a tilt at the Claret Jug at Hoylake.

"No, it was not lost on me that I had not won for over a year," Rose said. "Obviously, the clock ticked passed a year at the US Open a few weeks ago, so it was nice to get on the right side of that very quickly - in my very next tournament.

"This is a big, big boost going into Hoylake. It's very good that I can take my mind off the Ryder Cup qualifying and it's very good for the self-belief."

Rose has hardly endured a terrible season since breaking his major duck at Merion, frequently finishing high on the leaderboards, but it was his coolness under pressure that pleased him most on Sunday.

While Stefani found the water on the first hole of the sudden-death play off, Rose eased home with a par.

"I'd been in semi-contention a lot over the past 12 months, had some fourth or fifths," he said. "But I'd sort of forced my way into those and hadn't really been playing with a lead. To do so and make key putts and get it done is huge for my psyche going into a major."

Rose appeared to thrive on a tougher Congressional set up to the one on which Rory McIlroy secured the US Open title in 2011, finishing 16 under par.

"I like this type of golf. It doesn't turn into a putting competition and instead tests your all-round game, tests of all your skill-sets," Rose said. "That's normally what major championships do and I feel like the majors will suit me going forwards. I've talked my way into believing that, anyway, so when I get to those types of courses it becomes an advantage for me.

"I missed the Open when it was last there in 2006 because I was going through a rough spell and all I remember is watching it on TV and Hoylake being burnt out, people eating ice cream and Tiger [Woods] winning. So that's all I know about the place. I guess I've got some work to do."

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