Justin Rose: Beating Tiger Woods 'validates' U.S. Open win

Justin Rose: Beating Tiger Woods ‘validates’ U.S. Open win

2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose just opened up a can of worms he probably didn't mean to touch.

Rose won at Merion last month for his first major championship, a victory he said is sweetened by the fact that Tiger Woods, who has won four times this season, was in the field.

“It does validate victory,” said Rose to Sky Sports on Thursday after a practice round at Muirfield, site of next week's Open Championship. "If he's going to end up being the greatest player in the history of the game, to have beaten him down the stretch in tournaments is a tale for the grandchildren as well."

By accident, Rose may have thrown some shade on major championship wins by several of his peers.

Consider Padraig Harrington won two of his three majors -- the '08 Open Championship and PGA Championship -- with Woods on the sidelines.

Even Rory McIlroy won his first major at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional without his Nike Golf stablemate in the field. Darren Clarke got his only major in July of that year at Royal St. Georges while Woods was stateside nursing an injury.

While Harrington immediately encountered some resistance in the wake of his '08 double, there was little to belittle about the wins of the Ulstermen in 2011.