Justin Rose invoked a little bit of Mary Berry when trying to explain where he sees an already illustrious – and largely fulfilled – career going from here on in.
Now 20 years on from being “that boy” in the final round of the Open, he feels he’s fulfilled the hype that unquestionably derailed him at the start and built a fairly substantial body of work.
“I’ve been a pro longer than I haven’t,” he pondered on returning to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane for the first itme since 2015. “I think for a long time I was trying to live up to that boy who finished fourth at The Open and I put that to bed, gone on to achieve good things in the game and justified that performance.
“I feel like I’m at a great point in my career now where I’ve made the cake, the icing is on but we’re looking for a little bit of cherry and decoration and sprinkles or whatever.”
The chief embellishment would be a Claret Jug, and he’s looking forward greatly to Carnoustie, and the challenge of playing on the fast and fiery conditions caused by two months of dry weather.
“It’s a tough test of golf but a very fair test of golf, I thought it was in 2007,” he said. “It’s very playable if you’re on your game.
“It has to be an advantage (playing this week). It’s very tough to show up and click into the golf, especially playing as it is now.
“If it’s super windy and super bouncy, it becomes very unpredictable. For me, when it plays like this, having a game plan is the most vital thing and respecting the golf course; a bit like Tiger at Hoylake (in 2006); he won there because he figured out what was important that week and I put the right elements together.
“It’s very tempting to try and shoot 60 because it’s running so far, but you’re going to shoot 74 a lot trying to shoot 60. Better to figure out how to shoot 66, 67 daily.”