Justin Rose hopeful for US Open defence at Pinehurst
World number eight Justin Rose believes changes to the Pinehurst course in recent years will improve his chances of defending the US Open next month.
The 7,565-yard number two lay-out at Pinehurst has seen design alterations and reduction in rough since Michael Campbell won the US Open there in 2005.
"I've never played there and I think guys who played in 2005 won't have much advantage after re-design," Rose said.
"I feel like my game is in good shape to put up a good title defence."
Asked about the Pinehurst lay-out the 33-year-old added: "There was a lot of rough in 2005, fairways were narrow, typical USGA-style fairways.
"But this year it's going to play I think more of a running game, almost a mix between US Open and an Open Championship, I'm led to believe."
Rose, who has not won a tournament since his maiden major triumph by two shots at Medinah last year, was hampered by a shoulder injury earlier in the season but has finished eighth, fifth and fourth in his last three events on the PGA Tour.
"I feel that the next couple of weeks I can progress even more and if that translates into wins, that would be fantastic," he said.
The highest ranked British player is in action at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week, the prestigious tournament in which he lost a play-off to Anders Hansen in 2007 and was joint second behind Luke Donald in 2012.
Rose, who reached number three in the world rankings last year, has the number one spot in his sights and said: "It is a career goal of mine. I have not put a timeline on that one but I think it is more achievable now than it has ever been.
"If I was to win two weeks in a row that would put me right up there around world number one. So it is achievable in a very short time for me."