Justin Rose is keen and eager to defend his BMW Championship Crown, as he tries to become the ninth golfer ever to win consecutive BMW Championship/Western Open titles. Eight of the previous back-to-back winners won at least three majors and is also a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Four of the eight are ranked among the PGA Tour's top-10 all-time winners, and now Justin has a unique chance to join them. The some of the names included on the winners' list are, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Tiger Woods. Justin said; "It's overwhelming to think that you grew up watching the Western Open and that you're a part of that tournament and that heritage. When I won last year, they gave me two trophies, and you know, it's not often that you win a tournament and you get two trophies."
The tournament this year is temporarily leaving the familiar setting of suburban Chicago, where Rose won last year, for the PGA Tour's first stop in Indianapolis in more than two decades, at Crooked Stick. Ticket sales for the Sept. 6-9 event have been brisker than organizers anticipated.
Justin can happily recall every vivid detail from Crooked Stick's last PGA event. The tale of John Daly's late-night arrival at the 1991 PGA Championship to the to the roaring crowds that followed the late alternate player all weekend, and Big John's fist-pumping stroll down the 18th fairway, Justin can recall all the details like he was there in person.
"It was the whole story, him driving through the night, getting there late. I think it shows you that sometimes expectations, or the lack thereof, is a mindset that brings out the best in us. I feel like sometimes, I've played my best golf when I was really sick. When you talk about the FedEx Cup and the playoffs, sometimes, I think it's important to not believe your own words and to simplify it to just golf. What we hadn't had in recent years was Tiger competing for the FedEx Cup. With him being up there, he's going to want to come here and play well and that's good. But it's a case of beware of what you wish for."
Justin is interested in the history of Crooked Stick, and would like to meet Pete Dye in person, or even maybe see him riding around Crooked Stick with his dog in the golf cart.
"The history is what really makes tournaments great. The list of names on that trophy, Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Nicklaus and Tiger , is really great. I've never done it, won back-to-back, and it would be one of those ticks on the to-do list. As the defending champ, you want to come back and do yourself proud, but you don't want to put too much pressure on yourself."