Last Updated: 19/07/13 2:20pm
Justin Rose: Muirfield 'plays tricks on your mind'
Justin Rose admitted he struggled to maintain his focus after labouring to a disappointing first-round 75 at the Open Championship.
The Englishman is bidding to become only the seventh man in history to win both the US Open and Open Championship in the same year after Bobby Jones (twice), Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods.
But the 32-year-old often appeared bemused by the demands of links golf at Muirfield, carding three bogeys and a double-bogey before converting a good approach to the 17th - his only birdie of the day - to get back to four over par.
"I could not quite get my focus," said the Merion champion. "It's very tricky out there and plays tricks with your mind.
"You have a shot of 180 yards and a nine iron in your hand and you're aiming 30 yards left and trying to bounce it 50 yards short."
Rose insisted a lack of preparation was not to blame for his lacklustre performance, and that he did not feel added pressure being the US Open champion.
"I have done my best to come here and be as prepared as possible," he said. "It was just a round that did not go my way.
"But I am happy to have got it out of the way and I can get on with on Friday and the rest of the year.
"I was not thinking about Merion so I can't use that as an excuse. I need to get a good round of golf together and maybe be a bit more aggressive with my iron shots rather than trying to not make mistakes.
"I feel very comfortable as a major champion. I understand what works for me and how I can get the best out of myself, but it does not make the game any easier."
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