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July 9, 2014

Justin Rose


SARAH GWYNN:   Welcome to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.  First time in a few years you've been back.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I played the Jacques Léglise Trophy here in '96 or  '97.  That was the last time I played here and if I'm not mistaken, I played Sergio García in the singles match, which was cool.  I believe we got an honourable halve out of the match.
But yeah, obviously a great golf course, heard lots about it through the years, and it has a great reputation and also I guess my Open form has not been fantastic the last number of years so thought playing anyway in, as did Phil last year, I took note of how he did his preparation running in and thought we could give it a go.
SARAH GWYNN:   And congratulations on the win in America a few weeks ago.  So you're coming here high on confidence?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, it was a perfect time of year to win a tournament.  I got off to a slightly slow start this year.  Felt like my game was coming around but yeah, to get sort of a win, and sort of boost in Ryder Cup points and FedExCup points and all that stuff, and just gave myself a bit of confidence really rolling into the last couple majors of the year.

Q.  Cold or hayfever?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Hayfever.  Been struggling the last ten days or so since I've been home.
I haven't been out there yet.  I did a TaylorMade yesterday at Trump International, so just played six holes there.  Took an opportunity on a nice day to see that golf course.  All the guys, Fooch came out and walked it yesterday and said it's a really great golf course, the front nine especially he was very, very impressed with.
All the guys are saying the same thing.  You have to go out there and play well.  I think Castle Stuart was much more of a wide Open golf course, move gentle from the tee, whereas this is a legitimate test, test of golf and you've got to drive the ball well here and obviously with the conditions out here with the wind blowing, it's no warm up.  It's more of, this is a tough test before next week.
I think this will really get you in the mode of playing links golf at its toughest.

Q.¬† Can you just compare this time last year to where you're at now in terms of as the newly‑crowned U.S. Open Champion, there was so much talk and expectation; is it going to be easier to play golf next week?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think so.  Obviously I was trying to kid myself last year that I was ready to go and I was prepared.  But ultimately I wasn't prepared and rested mentally to play very well at Muirfield.  It was an adjustment period for me and for the next few months it probably was.
But yeah, I feel calm and ready to play next week.  Don't feel like there's any pressure on me necessarily.  So I have a great opportunity.  Game is in good shape.  So, yeah, I feel pretty calm and ready for it all.

Q.  When did you think you got over that hangover and when did you get over that hangover?
JUSTIN ROSE:  It sort of goes in ebbs and flows really.  You view it differently at different times.  Sometimes you feel grateful to have a major championship and other times you feel frustrated because you won it and whenever you win it, the game feels easy and then you can get frustrated because things are not going your way.
It's always a bit of an ebb and a flow.  I do feel heading into majors now that I see having won one as a gift or as a source of encouragement or a source of taking a little bit of pressure off me, it's nice to not have to, is this the week, is this the week, is this the week I'm going to win a major.
Hopefully it's the week I win my second major.  The pressure, it's still a big week.  But it's nice to know that I have one under my belt.

Q.¬† Can you tell us about the tartan trousers ‑‑
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think mine are more sort of outgoing than most of them I've seen.  Yeah, might be one of the few times I'm flashier than Poults out there on the course.
I think there's 11 of us wearing tartans today and it's all for the Children's Hospital in Aberdeen and Aberdeen Asset Management are making a donation on our behalf.  So everyone that wears the tartan, they are making a donation towards the children's hospital.  All for a good cause and all in the spirit of celebrating playing golf here in Scotland.

Q.  If you are in contention on Sunday, would you think of wearing them again?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Probably not.¬† (Laughter).¬† One and done.¬† If I go out and shoot 63 in the wind today, there's something to it.¬† But obviously it would be a great‑‑ who knows.¬† I think it's fun when players do do stuff like that.¬† You saw Rickie Fowler put on the plus‑fours at Pinehurst for Payne Stewart.
It's nice what a player makes a statement or something like that through an outward show of something he's wearing.  So, who knows.

Q.¬† A world‑class field here and a tricky links course.¬† I guess that's the ideal Open buildup for you.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, there's two schools of thought.  I think that's why I thought Castle Stuart was a great course for us because it was links golf, and it was pretty authentic but it wasn't too demanding and too tough.  So you weren't going to get destroyed the week before an Open Championship.
This course is the opposite to that.  Hoylake might seem a gentle test compared to maybe what we face here this week depending on the weather.  Just assuming next week is a little more benign.  But I think this will sharpen you up.  You're going to have to hit every shot this week.
You're going to have to really control the ball flight, knock shots down and get your links feel going, which means hitting 5‑iron from 160.¬† And for me, there's always a visual challenge to that.¬† You know, so often, we are regulated by how far the shot looks, and you know, when the conditions change this dramatically, 160 is playing 210 ‑‑ 180 instead of ‑‑ inaudible.
There's so many different factors out there.¬† I think this week will be a great run, because you're going to be tested to that point.¬† It not going to be just routine, here, let's just hit 5‑iron and let it bounce 15 yards.¬† Easy to get to know the ground conditions and landing it 15 yards short of where you would normally but still when you're having to learn to really judge the wind conditions, that's the biggest difference.

Q.  And it would be terrific for you obviously to build on your U.S. triumph, as well, wouldn't it?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, there's no doubt, winning is a habit for the most part and the more you do it the easier it becomes.
So for sure, this is an important week to get comfortable with being in contention again and that's the most important thing for me‑‑ a couple weeks ago now, is holing putts when it matters.¬† I think that's where the more you get comfortable in that situation, the easier it becomes and obviously heading into a major, that's when you're tested at your most.
So if you have more confidence in the recent back of your mind, it's helpful.

Q.  You've been together with your caddie for a while now but nothing compared to Bones and Phil.  When you look at their partnership from the outside, what strikes you about it?  Is it obvious why they have been together so long and successful so long?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, Fooch might feel like he's been with me longer than Bones has been with Phil (laughter).
They both let it go.  No matter what happens out there on the golf course, if it's a mistake, bad decision, bad club, there's no doubt, Bones has made mistakes, Phil has made mistakes and they don't blame each other which is a fantastic way to be.
Great story I heard about the two of them was when Phil made a little bit of a mess at the 18th, I think it was at Winged Foot.  Bones' phone rings Monday morning and Bones is obviously devastated, Phil he's assuming is devastated and phones rings, and he's thinking it's Phil and wants to talk through what happens.  And he picks up the phone and says, Phil says:  Hey, family and I are going to Disneyland today and wanted to know if you guys wanted to join us.
For me that says it all really.  I hope that's a true story.  (Laughter) Nevertheless even if it's not true, that pretty much sums the two of them up which I think's great.

Q.  As you said last year it was a big adjustment to make from U.S. Open to Open.  Pinehurst doesn't seem hugely different from what you're going to face next week.  Is that the sort of golf that was played there, will it bring a lot more people into the mix?

Q.  Pinehurst was not a typical U.S. Open course.  Quite a linksy feel.  Wonder having played that, people will not have to make a big adjustment and whether it brings more people into the mix?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Pinehurst essentially looked like it was a links, but the ball never really chased there as much as we thought it might and never really bounced up from the front of the greens.  It was very sandy, but soft sand; and the bermuda being into the grain all the time it was hard to get the ball running there.  Although it appeared to look that way, it didn't actually play that way.  So I think this will be an adjustment from that for sure.
Because even the U.S. Open, my strategy was to play it almost like a links course, always laying back sort of the trouble because you have to take the pot bunkers out of play.  They are the biggest hazard out there.  You are typically hitting iron off the tee and mid irons into the greens, and that's how I set up Pinehurst in my head.  As I got to know the course and rough, I was hitting way more drivers at the end of the week than I was at the start.
I don't think you can do that on a links golf course.  I still think they are pretty separate.

Q.  You'll probably know Tiger's condition better than most people; is it a step too far, too soon?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I actually don't know anything about his condition.¬† I think obviously anyone who works with Tiger or I think even if we work with the same coach, we always feel like they respect your own privacy.¬† It's like a doctor‑client privilege almost in a way.
I would say for him to compete at the Quicken Loans was a step too early, but I always believe that a player's first event back should be regarded as their final step of rehab.  You need to test yourself in the moment to see if what you've been doing on the gym and range is doable.  It was important to see if he was serious about being in contention in  The Open Championship.  Time will tell but it made sense his thought process to this point.
SARAH GWYNN:   Thanks guys.

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