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June 27, 2014

Justin Rose


Q. Yesterday a tough afternoon but today bogey-free, 6-under par 65?
JUSTIN ROSE: Absolutely, I was out in 4-over yesterday and really struggling. I was sore and just not mentally with it at all. Played a really good back nine yesterday to get it back to a respectable score. This is a tough golf course, and once you get on the wrong side of it, it can eat you up. Really pleased the way I bounced back the last 27 holes. Played some great golf today. Drove the ball well today. I don't think I've played a longer PGA TOUR course in my career for a regular event. Every tee was straight back on the par 4s and like I said, if you missed fairways today, you were really going to struggle.

Q. How differently did the golf course play this morning compared to yesterday afternoon?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yesterday was windier and as I just finished my round, you can see the wind is picking up now. So might be tougher for the guys this afternoon, but it was long today. We had a lot of tees up yesterday. It was tricky yesterday for sure but today felt longer and you had to really strike it well off the tee. I can't imagine it's getting any easier.

Q. I saw you take a look at The Open Championship displayed; how important would that be for you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, when you walk past a major championship trophy, you dream about what it would be like, and I've been lucky enough to feel it once. And your home open, for example, you see it, and it does sort of give you goosebumps. As a kid you dream about it so much, but now walking past it, you know it's somewhat of a reality and you do have a chance to pick that thing up. Obviously here to play good this week and that's on the mind for sure. Today was obviously a great round of golf. 4-over par for the first nine holes of the tournament and from then on I played pretty well. Today I felt like the course was as long as I've seen a PGA TOUR course play. Every tee on the back nine on the par 4s was stretched back. The 10th hole was up a little bit but the par 4s are way back. Every hole felt like about 500 yards, so you had to drive it in the fairway and if you didn't drive it in the fairway you were going to struggle. So obviously I did a good job of that today and gave myself an opportunity to score.

Q. So driving was the thing you did best today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, driving set up my game. I hit a couple of chunky iron shots out there which is something I want to work on on the range, so not everything was perfect, but managed to get it up-and-down a couple of times when I did miss and felt like I left a couple 8- or 10-footers out there. Everyone comes off the golf course and can say what you could have done better but obviously I did a lot of things well today.

Q. So now you're in the mix; do you feel like you can win if you put a couple of good rounds together?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for sure. That's exactly where you want to be after the first couple of rounds is within striking distance and not having to do too much work on the weekend. But any time you win a golf tournament, there's a lot of work to be done. So obviously for me, yeah, it's a great start, two good days left, two -- this is my kind of golf course, I feel. I like this type of golf. Offers you the opportunity to go low if you play really well, but par is still a good score, so I like that balance.

Q. What was the biggest issue yesterday?
JUSTIN ROSE: Me. I was the biggest issue with myself, yeah. I just got off to a flat start and got a little frustrated after making a couple of stupid mistakes and just had to have a little talk to myself on the 10th green and from that moment on, played really well.

Q. Hard to flip that switch to turn it around today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it can be hard to flip that switch but I felt like I did a good job of it yesterday. I came off the golf course feeling pretty positive the way I played my back nine yesterday.

Q. I've heard a lot of guys use the word mental toughness here; going back to the question about how difficult it was yesterday, how much was that mental toughness tested on a course like this where you can turn around, flip the switch and get back in it today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think it tests the commitment to your shots, because you know if you miss in certain areas, you're going to make bogeys. You have to be mentally tough to hit positive golf shots, and you need to be resilient because you are going to make some mistakes out there. You're going to catch some bad lies in the rough and you are going to make some bogeys. I didn't do a great job of that day one but felt much better about it and felt I was in a lot more control today. I just enjoyed playing golf today. That's going to be my mind-set the next two days, no matter what happens in my 20 other hours of the day, my four hours I'm on the course on the weekend, I'm going to enjoy playing golf.

Q. Golfers get a feel after the first couple of rounds; do you get a sense that this tournament is wide open?
JUSTIN ROSE: Oh, it is wide open. Especially yesterday, a lot of the so-called big names didn't play very well yesterday, and no one really got away yesterday. I wouldn't imagine anyone is going to get away today too much. It's going to be tricky this afternoon. The wind seemed to pick up as I finished my round. I don't see anybody stretching it out too much. I think I'll be right there or thereabouts.

Q. How do you classify the conditions out there?
JUSTIN ROSE: Any time you play in the afternoon on bentgrass greens you're going to get the odd spike mark and ball mark and stuff like that, so it always gets a little rougher out there in the afternoon. That happens every single week but the course condition is great. The rough is up. It seems to have grown in the last couple days, it's so warm out there; I think the rough is longer than it was on Tuesday.

Q. June and July seem to be kind of your months. How important to be in peak form with that other tournament?
JUSTIN ROSE: I couldn't help look at The Open Championship trophy as I walked to the scorer's tent here. I'm obviously here to play well this week but The Open is definitely on my mind. I felt like I had a slightly slower start to the year than I would have liked but I feel like I'm running into some good form and playing well at the U.S. Open and hopefully playing well this week. So hopefully I'm trending in the right direction.

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