Ian Poulter expects Justin Rose to keep the secrets of his success to himself, even though the pair are close friends and Ryder Cup team-mates.
Poulter finished 21st in the US Open last year as Rose claimed his major maiden title at Merion, finishing two shots ahead of Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.
And although the 38-year-old Englishman would love nothing more than to follow compatriot Rose into the winner’s circle at Pinehurst this week, he would not blame Rose for keeping his cards close to his chest.
“It was an inspiration (to see Rose winning),” said Poulter, who shrugged off a back injury to finish 26th, one shot behind Rose in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last month.
“I didn’t drive it well last year; you have to drive it exceptionally well to be a real factor and you need to have an incredible short game.
“You have to be on your game, US Open set-ups are tough. I like tough golf. I would expect myself to be able to hang in there and be tough and if I’m fit, fresh, ready, no niggles, then I am all good.”
Asked if he had sat down with Rose to discuss his Merion heroics, Poulter added: “No we haven’t, and I wouldn’t expect him to open up about all of it anyway. He is a competitor, you have to keep some stuff (to yourself), you can’t let it all out.
“As much as he’s a great mate of mine, you want to hold some stuff back. He knows what he did was rather special and I think I know what to do to be able to get there.
“It’s a case of doing it on those four days and as we know, it’s pretty difficult. I don’t think people rationalise it properly sometimes, realise how few majors you actually play and how many great players there are. It’s pretty tough.”