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April 11, 2015

Justin Rose


MODERATOR:  Delighted to have Justin Rose here, 67 and five birdies in the last six holes and a superb round.  Do you want to talk us through it?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  I guess it all comes down to the finish, but I'll talk about the start a little bit, reminiscent to yesterday.  A slow start, couple over through 5 and again had to shake it off and regroup.
I guess the key moment for me was I was talking with my caddie and I said, "Listen, we just need to be a little bit more committed."  The wind can swirl.  Even though it's five mile an hour wind, it's very difficult to pick it if it's a little bit down, little bit into.
We made a great choice of club until the 7th hole, we went with 52 degrees instead of the pitching wedge, which got me pin‑high and I was able to make birdie there.
That sort of changed the momentum for me.  From that moment on, I was very committed to my shots.  I guess I played patient golf and got rewarded at the end.  I guess some strokes of luck or magic, whichever way you look at it, holing out of the bunker at No. 16.
But again, with our preparation, we knew that's a pin location where that bunker is not a bad place to be.  It's such a tough putt from long left.  It's nice that those little things worked out today at the end, and just obviously the icing on the cake to birdie 18 and get me one closer to Jordan.

Q.  Question about the psychological feeling of playing in that last group, as opposed to not.  Is it more like a match‑play kind of a thing?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I haven't really had a chance to think about it yet.  Given the choice, you'd want to be in the last group.  You want to be seeing what you're up against; you want to feel the atmosphere.  You want to get a look at how the guys play next to you, especially when you get to 12, 13, 14, 15 on the back nine.  If you're within one or two, you know if you have to chase or if you can still be patient, whereas if you're in the group in front, you don't know what the leader is going to do.  You've got to maybe take a shot on because you think they are going to hit a good shot.  In hindsight, maybe you didn't need to take on a specific shot.
So I think it's always an advantage to be in the final group.

Q.  Can you describe the hole‑out on 16 and the putt on 18?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Sure.  Like I said, I quite liked the position I was on 16.  I hit 9‑iron, had 160 to the hole and knew I was sort of pushing my luck to get 9‑iron back to the pin.  It puffed into a tiny bit of breeze and the ball came up short in the bunker, but I had a great lie in the flat part of the trap; and the sand, if anything, was slightly wet in there which I knew I could be somewhat aggressive.  I knew I could get a little bit of check on the ball.  Flew it probably ten feet short of the flag, one bounce, bit of check.
Again, I was on a pretty straight line to the pin.  There was not much break from the position I was in.  That's the key at Augusta, if you can miss the ball where you don't have a lot of slope to deal with, you're in a pretty good spot, which is where I missed it on 17, as well.  That's a pin where you knew short right wasn't too bad.  I was chipping straight up at the pin.
The shot into 18, I had 6‑iron in my hand.  I was about to pull the trigger and I just sort of said, well, with the amount of cut that I had to put on it, you know, I didn't really factor that in until the last second and said to my caddie, "I think we need a cut 5‑iron in here."  
Obviously the ball then pitched up pin‑high and left me a very quick putt, but one that if I picked the right line it was always going to get to the hole.  So it was nice, picked a high line about probably three feet left of the cup and, you know, just died in perfectly.

Q.  You're less than two years removed from a major championship.  Is there anything that you remember from the last round then that will help you tomorrow, positive thoughts?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I just remember being very patient, very focused.  Just believing it was a 72‑hole tournament.  Yeah, playing one shot at a time, not getting ahead of myself and also not being scared to lose.  You have to put it on the line and you've got to make good‑‑ you've got to make committed, aggressive swings under pressure.  That's what I'm going to do tomorrow.

Q.  How aware were you of what Jordan was doing out there today, and how aware do you want to be when someone has such a big lead going into Saturday?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I was aware, my caddie and I were commenting that he was already at 18‑under par which was Tiger's record score.  So, yeah, we were definitely aware.
Then when I finished, I actually thought he made that putt for 18‑under.  I didn't realize he doubled 17, so I don't know what happened there.
You know, obviously other than that particular hole, he's played great golf.  He's made great birdies on tough holes.  He's birdied No. 12.  He's birdied No. 16 today.  Obviously he's taken care of the par 5s very well.  So he's done all the right things so far, yeah.

Q.  You were just sort of treading water there for awhile and still 7‑under, and then the last five holes just caught fire.  Were you thinking, I have to make a move now because Jordan was so far ahead?
JUSTIN ROSE:  To be honest with you, no.  Jordan was so far ahead that it was almost‑‑ you were just playing your own game, and you can't get too aggressive around here.  You can take your chances when they come.  I mean, I was doing the right things.  I hit a good tee shot on 13.  I hit a good tee shot on 15.  So I was doing all I could to make a score.
But then the things like the bunker shot going in are a bonus, and obviously the 18th hole making birdie there.  I hit two good shots and holed a nice putt, but those are kind of bonus birdies.  You don't really expect to make birdie down on 18.
It was nice to stay patient and get rewarded with a hot finish.  It's amazing and it put me in with a great opportunity tomorrow now.  It's a great lesson, as well, to stay patient, because you never know when you're going to get your run.

Q.  I know it's not match play, but going through this, how well do you know Jordan?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I've played quite a bit of golf with him, from the Ryder Cup last year and through Florida swing this year, I played with him.  I played with him last week in Houston, actually, the first two rounds.  His game was solid there, and then I think he caughta lie on the weekend obviously lost in the playoff.
He's just playing very, very solid golf.  We hit the ball very similar distances.  When you have played a bit of golf with someone recently, you can work off their game a little bit, especially the par3s and club selection, stuff like that.  So from a club point of view, it's a good pairing.

Q.  You've always liked your chances here.  What is it about Augusta that is a good fit for you?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think I just find it an inspiring place, really.  Probably makes me no different to the other 99 guys who played this week.  I have good memories around here.  We always talk about the course fitting your eye and I guess it does for me.  I've had good rounds.  I've never put four together, so looking forward to that.
But I've had enough good rounds here where I've always felt ‑‑ and I've got a good game plan around here.  I've learned where you can miss it, where you can't miss it; which pins to be aggressive to, which you can't.  I think that being here ten times now, I'm sort of beginning to put it all together.
MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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