Rose leads home challengers for The Open

US Open champion Justin Rose
US Open champion Justin Rose
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Justin Rose believes his US Open success has paved the way for a home winner at this year’s Open Championship at Muirfield.

The Golf at Goodwood ambassador has returned to these shores as a major champion after his breakthrough victory at Merion last month.

And the former Hampshire star will be among a clutch of home challengers who will be bidding to emulate Sir Nick Faldo, who was the last Englishman to win The Open at the same venue way back in 1992.

He feels his victory has given some of his close colleagues the belief they can follow in his footsteps to claim one of the sport’s top honours.

Rose, who will play alongside defending champion Ernie Els and US star Brandt Snedeker for the first two rounds, said: ‘Hopefully it has broken the curse.

‘I have faced questions for years about who the next English guy to break through will be.

‘I feel fortunate it was me who broke through first but I am sure it will give the others a little extra burst of enthusiasm.

‘It probably gives them that added bit of belief. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the other guys follow in the not too distant future.’

Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter are among those who are certainly good enough to win one of the major titles but have yet to finish the job.

But Rose, who famously finished fourth as a teenage amateur at Birkdale back in 1998, is not content with just the one major to his name and is already targeting a second crown.

He said: ‘The Open Championship stands out to me.

‘I have a very special relationship with it. The Open is the one I have dreamed about winning the most, for sure.

‘As I play the next 10 years, The Open is going to be at the forefront of my goals for a long, long time.’