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April 12, 2015

Justin Rose


MODERATOR:¬† I'd like to welcome our runner‑up, Justin Rose, to the interview room.¬† Justin just finished the tournament tied for second place with Phil Mickelson, shooting spectacular rounds of 67, 70, 67, 70, good for 14‑under par.¬† Over four rounds of play, Justin recorded 24 birdies.
This is Justin's second‑place showing, it's his best finish at the Masters and he now has two Top‑5 finishes and three Top‑10 finishes in the tournament.
Great performance there, Justin.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Thank you.
MODERATOR:  Maybe we'll open it up to any opening thoughts you have.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Obviously it was a thrill to be out there and play in that arena.  The final group on Sunday at the Masters is dream stuff and it's stuff that I tried to really soak in.  It was an incredible day out there.
The atmosphere was fantastic all day.  Playing with Jordan, he's going to sort of fly the flag, I think, for golf for quite a while, as well.  People were getting excited about that out there, you could tell.
All in all, I think I wanted to obviously put a good run together and make a charge but didn't quite happen.  Got off to a good start which is what I wanted to do today, birdieing 1 and 2, but the front nine can be tricky if you don't quite get in the right spots.
Overall, I was happy the way I stuck with it.  To come here with not a lot of form so far this season, to finish tied second is obviously a good result and I feel like my season is now underway.

Q.  With birdieing the first two holes, did you have a feeling at that point that it was going to be the kind of day that you were going to put a lot of pressure?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think I signalled my intent for sure.  I knew I had to go out there and play a great round of golf.  I knew there was a score out there, especially on the back nine.  You knew birdies could be had and I knew if I could play a really good front nine, it could set me up for something pretty special today.
No. 6 bit me a little bit.  Hit a great iron shot in there that came up a yard shot and did what it always does, rolls all the way down, didn't get the ball up and down.
Then the momentum really stopped for me around 8 or 9.¬† Didn't get the ball up‑and‑down from the right edge of the green on 8 and then 3‑putted on 9.
At that point, had I had a bit more, slightly different momentum through 6, 7, 8, 9, I think it could have been a different story.

Q.  Can you describe what it's like trying to chase down a guy who is playing that well?  I think your score would have won 74 out of 79 Masters or something to that effect.  Just the difficulty of trying to catch somebody particularly who is playing that well.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, obviously, there's two ways to look at it. ¬†You can think that 14‑under par‑‑ and I'll take that next year and I'll take that the year after and I'll take it the year after, so I have to take a lot of confidence from that.
But you've got to play it on the day, too.¬† I felt like a couple times‑‑ there were a few moments out there where I could have done better and I'll learn on that and think about that.
But yeah, Jordan didn't really open the door, and I didn't really expect him to.  He's played with the lead now, it feels like, for the last month (laughter), and he's obviously got very comfortable doing that.  He was clutch with the putter again today.
Really the one time on the back nine where it got interesting for me was the 16th hole.¬† I felt that if I make it and Jordan misses, a potential two‑shot swing, and I'm two back with two to play.¬† And obviously from that point, yeah, it's game on.
But my putt just slid by and he made a great 8‑footer to there to keep his momentum as he did all day, really.

Q.  At this level on a day like today, what do you go through when he hits a shot like he hits on 13, and you essentially answer that shot; how do you continue when your opponent is pulling off shot after shot?  You have to keep rising to that occasion.  What goes through your head?  How do you do that?
JUSTIN ROSE:  You've just got to stay with it.  You never quite know what can happen.  A lot of crazy things have happened in the game, so I just have to keep trying to stay as close to him as I could and keep trying to hit great shots.
My mentality was around the turn, I lost some momentum, but 11 and 12 aren't holes to start pressing.  So I tried to tell myself, two more solid golf swings, 11 and 12; and from 13, just try and put the pedal down.
Hit a good shot into 13, hit a good shot into 14, hit a good‑looking shot into 15 that got lucky to stay dry.¬† I hit a decent shot into 16.
I did in a sense what I had to do and obviously playing the last two holes, it was obvious who was going to win.  At that point I was just trying to finish second.

Q.  How is your health?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Good (smiling).

Q.  You seem to have lost a little weight.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, basically I went on a bit of a diet to help my allergies.¬† Took a lot of‑‑ histamine diet, basically.¬† Struggled a lot with that in Florida and here at the Masters I normally struggle.¬† Just cutting out a lot of foods and basically eating clean the last month.¬† Basically got meaner and leaner.

Q.  You haven't lost any weight?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I'm still training and still lifting in the gym.  I'm still doing all that stuff.  I've kept my strength up.  It's just the unwanted stuff that's disappeared.

Q.¬† What did you hit into 16 and how big was that sequence where it looked like a two‑shot swing; and secondly, you talked about your form this year.¬† What was the biggest factor in finding it this week?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† 17, my caddie wanted me to hit 8‑iron but I hit 7‑iron because it's the kind of pin you need to be aggressive to.¬† You need to get it behind the hole for it to have a chance to come back and go in.¬† At that point you're trying to make a one.¬† You've seen it before.¬† It can happen.¬† That was the kind of crazy moment that I needed to happen.
I hit 7‑iron in there and yeah, I mean, it was a good‑looking putt.¬† I hit it about‑‑ I gave it over a foot of break, but that particular green was very glassy.¬† It wasn't a lot of grass left around the cup there.¬† So I think because of that it broke a little more than maybe it normally would and broke across the frontage of the hole.
Jordan had a really tough, very quick eight‑foot putt and he poured it right in the middle.¬† It was probably one of the best putts he hit all day.¬† At that point I was looking for that two‑shot swing to keep it interesting.

Q.  You had obviously very early success and struggled a little bit.  Are you at all surprised that this guy is able to do what he's been doing at the age of 21?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I mean, yeah, it's not an easy game.  Anyone who comes out and has played at the level that he has and how consistently he's doing it and how easy he's making it look, yeah, absolutely I'm surprised.  It really shouldn't be that easy.  You just need to take your hat off and marvel at it and congratulate him, because it's very impressive.

Q.  How happy are you with your form?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I'm really excited about the rest of the year now.  It's a good momentum starter for me.  I tried to really tell myself that this year for me is going to be about April to September when the big tournaments come around and that's when I want to play well.
You look at Rory's year last year, it was all about how he played in the summer.  I was trying to keep telling myself it's a long year.  Very happy it turned around this week in a major championship.
But the thing that was most important for me this week was the fact that I have not been in contention and I haven't had a lot of experience this year or positive vibes on which to draw.  I was really pleased at how comfortable I felt in that situation today, last group in the Masters on Sunday.  I think that's when you learn a lot about yourself and that makes me very hungry to get there again very soon.
MODERATOR:  Justin, congratulations on a great performance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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