Justin Rose is adamant that golf is not boring – despite 70 per cent of people in the UK claiming that to be the case in a poll that gave it the thumbs down over 16 other sports.
“That’s surprising to me,” confessed the world No 6 of the YouGov survey that painted a bleak picture about where golf stands as a spectator sport in the eyes of the British public.
“If you ask a golf fan, golf is not boring right now. I think there’s many great storylines. The young guys are doing incredibly well. We’re on the verge of watching Tiger [Woods] come back and I think this comeback definitely looks for real, which I think is an exciting time for golf.”
Speaking in Abu Dhabi ahead of this week’s HSBC-sponsored European Tour event, Rose added: “If you are going to ask a population, I think golf still has a stigma of being an old man’s sport for people who aren’t aware of what the sport’s all about. But I think people in and around the game don’t feel that way. Yeah, we want to grow the game of golf, but I think that people who are involved in golf think it’s exciting times.”
Meanwhile, 2014 winner Rose and Matt Kuchar, who was runner-up the following season, have handed this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open an early boost by confirming they will both be in Gullane in July.
“I’m going to play the Scottish Open,” said Rose, who beat a field that included Rory McIlroy to claim the title at Royal Aberdeen and defended it at Gullane but then missed the next two stagings at Castle Stuart and Dundonald Links. “Gullane is a good golf course and I really enjoy it. Just being in Scotland for two weeks is a nice part of the year. It’s traditional golf. It’s big crowds and the Scottish Open is a big event.”
Also speaking in Abu Dhabi, Kuchar said: “Sure, I plan on being back. The Scottish Open is an event I’ve really come to enjoy. I think it’s a great lead in to the British Open. I think what they have done with moving it to links courses has been a very smart move.”