Justin Rose: Scottish Open very beneficial for major preparation

Justin Rose is the Scottish Open's defending champion
Justin Rose is the Scottish Open's defending champion
Scottish Open
Venue: Gullane Dates: 09-12 July
Coverage: Highlights on BBC Two Scotland on Saturday and Sunday, updates on Sportsound

Defending champion Justin Rose says the Scottish Open provides the best preparation for the Open Championship at St Andrews the following week.

Rose, 34, says he is "proud" to be champion, after winning the event at Royal Aberdeen 12 months ago.

"You build your schedule with next week in mind," Rose told BBC Scotland.

"I think it's a big benefit to play here going into the Open Championship," the Englishman added. The Scottish Open starts on Thursday.

Many of the world's top golfers have opted not to play in the event at Gullane, which precedes the third major of the year.

After being tied in joint second in the Masters, the Englishman is confident he can have a good two weeks.

"It does feel different coming back as defending champion," he said. "Obviously it's a different golf course so it feels very different this year.

"Gullane's a great course, my caddy walked it yesterday and says it's in great shape. The challenge remains the same, it's still links golf.

"We're not trying to play two Opens in a row, no-one wants to play an incredibly tough golf course the week before the Open Championship.

"I think the way they set up the tournament is a way we can all enjoy it, have fun, and once you get into contention it's a very historic and well respected tournament that we all want to win."

The world number seven says he feels sorry for Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who has pulled out of the tournament after injuring himself during a game of football and is a doubt for next week's Open.

"There's obviously been that debate about whether players should wrap themselves up in cotton wool or whether you live your life," said Rose, referring to the world number one. "I would play tennis and it's just as easy to turn your ankle doing that."

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