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Justin Rose comments before Northern Trust Open
  • Justin Rose comments before Northern Trust Open

Justin Rose comments before Northern Trust Open
  • Justin Rose comments before Northern Trust Open

The reigning U.S. Open champion, Justin Rose, is competing for the first time in 2014 this week at the Northern Trust Open.

 

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- Tendinitis in his right shoulder, the supraspinatus, if you want to be technical, has kept Justin Rose on the sidelines since the first week in December.

Rose, who returns to competition at this week's Northern Trust Open, thinks the problem actually began when he was playing with Tiger Woods in the third round of The Barclays last fall. He was on the green, picked up his ball and threw it to his caddy, who was about 70 yards back down the fairway.

"Just threw it too far really," the reigning U.S. Open champion said. "Speaking to people, when you throw an object that has no weight like that, ... the deceleration or whatever is what (the body) has a hard time with."

Rose played several more events, though, including the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, where he tied for fifth. That was his last event on the PGA TOUR prior to this week, although his final competitive rounds of 2013 came at December's Nedbank Golf Challenge, which resulted in a tie for seventh.

Rose thought the injury, which he attributes to "overuse," would heal with rest over the holidays. Nothing was torn and no surgery was required but Rose's doctors advised some more therapy, and he was nothing if not diligent.

"A lot of hard work went into me being here," Rose said. "It was a race against time to really get back playing and get back strong, and if I'm honest, I've only really been hitting balls, drivers, for about a week, ten days now. So it really has been down to the wire."

Rose figured it was time, though. He likes Riviera and plans to make the Northern Trust Open the first of four straight events that includes two World Golf Championships in the Accenture Match Play Championship and Cadillac Championship. The Masters is on the horizon, as well.
 
"I figured that I wanted to get out and play, and if I wanted to play well in the near future, I thought it was important for me to get out and play some competitive golf," Rose explained. "My game's felt really good at home. I'm swinging it really nicely and everything technically looks really good.

"Had an opportunity to spend a lot of opportunity on my short game, but when you get a scorecard in your hand everything is a little different.  So I wanted so make sure I got my season underway."

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