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September 26, 2014

Justin Rose


SARAH GWYNN: Justin, thanks very much for joining us. What a day, two points from two, and you really clicked with Henrik, didn't you.

JUSTIN ROSE: It was good. This morning, we played a solid match. For the first five or six holes, we didn't play great, either of us but when one of us was out of the hole, the other guy stepped in so we dovetailed really beautifully and got it going in the mid of the match. Both of us were putting from inside 20 feet so we had a lot of pressure on the guy this is morning. This afternoon, we really clicked into gear. Foursomes is a format that's pretty difficult and with the course playing as hard as it is with crosswinds, it's hard to find fairways. Hunter and Zach played really, really well and it was a high quality match where not many shots were missed. We were 3- or 4-under par when we won, which is pretty strong out there.

Q. Tell us about the sting you got earlier on, what happened, when and how it affected you.
JUSTIN ROSE: It was a well deserved sting because I hit a terrible shot into the water hazard on the ninth and I was sort of searching for my golf ball. The next thing, I don't know if it's a bee sting or a wasp, but anyway, I had the barb of the insect in me, and yeah, it's still pretty swollen in me and stinging a little bit. My thumb swelled up a little bit but just took an antihistamine. Wasn't too bad. Made a nice putt on 10 and I thought, okay, no worries. But yeah, just a little bee sting on the ninth hole today.

Q. Which hand?
JUSTIN ROSE: Right hand. Right thumb. Lucky it wasn't the left because that one takes a lot of pressure. So it's the one that just sits on top and doesn't do much, so I was lucky.

Q. Can you compare playing with Poulter to Stenson? Polar opposites?
JUSTIN ROSE: It is different. Henrik's intense, but not outwardly so. He doesn't sort of express it with huge shows of emotion. But he stays focused the whole day, just like Ian does. He's a great partner. He's a partner you can rely on. If you miss a shot, you always feel like he's there and he's got your back, and I think that's what you want from a partner. If you believe in their game, it makes a massive difference.

Q. I think you said on television you would play all five matches if asked. Are you actually enthusiastic to do that? Do you feel you're on a kind of roll at the moment?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I played all five at Medinah and played four in my first Ryder Cup, so I have always played a lot of matches when I've played Ryder Cup. But always want to fit in with what the team needs and if there's a particular pairing that's working or if there are other pairings that the captain wants to get out on the golf course, it's all good being versatile as a team. But there might be times where you just let a good thing keep riding and keep going, and so we'll see what he wants to do. But I feel relatively fresh considering the heavy schedule and that's why I took a week off during the FedExCup this year was to try and be as fresh as I could for this tournament. I feel that gives me the opportunity to play five, should that be good for the team.

Q. I think as a partnership today, you sunk 11 birdie putts between you. Did you get that sort of feeling every time he put it on the green you were going to putt it in the hole?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I felt good with the putter today, which was difficult, because a lot of guys missed putts. Obviously with the wind, they were trying to make sure the balls were not moving around on the greens, and that was definitely a prudent call because on the 8th hole, the only putt I really missed of any length today was on the 8th. The wind was buffeting and the ball was oscillating around. If the greens were super fast, the balls, we would have had a hard time on the greens out there keeping the ball stationary. The greens were purposefully slow due to the weather and it was hard to make putts because of that.

Q. You went out number one, day one. That's quite an honour. Did you acknowledge that honour, do you think, and are you the team leader now? Are you the new Monty?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I didn't really pay much attention to the fact of, that was -- of what an honour that was. Because obviously the Americans hit first, so I wasn't like opening -- hitting the opening, opening tee shot. But leading The European Team out, that was a huge honour today. This is my first home Ryder Cup, first time I've experienced the majority of the crowd. Although the noise was amazing, for me it was the visual today, just looking down the first fairway and seeing ten, 20 people deep from tee-to-green was just an amazing sight. I probably hit my best tee shot of the day to match. The whole experience for me today on 1 this morning was amazing, and it really made me realize that when you come out in the afternoon, the atmosphere is not the same. First morning, first shot, the anticipation, the crowd, the buildup, first tee on a Ryder Cup Friday, am, is just amazing.

Q. Do you feel like a team leader then?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I think Henrik and I were a strong pairing, and therefore, we warranted playing 1. But Sergio and Rory are equally as strong, obviously stronger if you look at World Rankings, and they played No. 4. They were kind of like the anchor match. So in no way did I sort of see that as our role to be the leader. It was our role to go and put a point on the board and to do a good job for the team and to start things in the right way.

Q. You talked to Bubba on the way down from the first tee; was it a nice match to play? Was it gentle and you're laughing or was it intense?
JUSTIN ROSE: Bubba and Webb are great guys. They played the whole day in a good spirit. They really struggled and didn't make a birdie and they had nothing to really cheer about. They had nothing go their way. But they stayed as upbeat as possible, and you know, we were laughing. Webb skied it a bit off the first tee and we were joking a little bit; you're not laughing, are you, and trust me, I'm not laughing until my ball was away. First tee of a Ryder Cup, you sympathize with guys, for sure. Obviously I've got to know the American guys really well in the last five, ten years, really, and you need to spend 51 other weeks of the year playing golf with them. So to be honest, the mentality out there and the attitude between us is very fair and it's great sportsmanship. I thought the crowd were really, really good today, too. Apart from phones, I've got to say, cameras and phones were pretty poor out there for what I would class as a very knowledgeable golf crowd. That was the only -- but maybe Ryder Cup -- but maybe not as educated a golf crowd as normal, Open Championship crowd, for example. But otherwise it's been a phenomenal day start to finish.

Q. Perhaps the crowd were a little less vibrant going into the afternoon because of the way that -- apart from yourself, we were going to maybe have three wins and then we only ended up with 1 1/2. How was the feeling actually in the team room, for those people who were not passing like ships in the night?
JUSTIN ROSE: It was a little bit ships in the night, and the reason the first tee wasn't jam packed was because I think the Phil/Rory -- that match was finishing on 18 and the lack of noise really told me exactly what happened down the stretch there. Yeah, it got very quiet this morning. There was a lot of blue on the board early, and the American Team did a great job of closing out their matches this morning. The 18th hole wasn't kind to us this morning, and obviously this afternoon, it was a different story. Westwood winning the last hole with Jamie Donaldson to close out their match.

Q. Do you sense you're about to become the Ian Poulter talisman of The Ryder Cup side?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know. I don't think so. You know, my record is strong, but I think that Poults's passion for it and his flair, I think that he really sort of revels in that. I like to go out and just play a good, hard match and play as good as I can and deliver for my team. But other than that, I'm not really sort of interested in anything other than delivering a point really.

SARAH GWYNN: Thank you.
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