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April 26, 2015

Justin Rose


Q.  Here with Justin Rose.  Justin, birdied 65, 66 on the weekend, actually today.  And it could have been even more from what I saw out there on the Back 9 today.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think the golf course is yielding birdies.  You can have a lot of chances, and I think when you do miss the birdie putt you feel like you're going backwards because you know guys are making birdies.
But you know, all week I just kept trying to tell myself to stay patient, and I missed a couple of shortish ones on 11 and 12, but then it was important to hit that wedge shot really tight at number 13.  If I didn't birdie 13, I would have really felt like I was leaking some oil.  So that was important for some momentum, and then obviously to make those two putts on the last two greens made up for everything.

Q.  The state of your game right now appears to be operating on all eight cylinders.  Do you feel that same way?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  I would say, you know, obviously my feels at Augusta swing wise were spot on, 100 percent, and this week I was hanging onto them a little bit.  I didn't feel quite as comfortable with exactly the way the ball was going to come off the club face, but you don't have it 100 percent all the time.  But obviously I'm at a very good level right now.  I know where my misses are going.  My misses are slightly to the right, so if you take out one side of the golf course, you can definitely play.

Q.  It's obviously easy to play that way.  You got a two‑shot lead right now.  Cameron Tringale needs to birdie the last two or go par eagle to tie you.  We'll let you go back and let you rest a little bit.

Q.  Let's go through some of the highlights.  You birdied number 8 there to get into the lead.  When you get to 13 and make this birdie to get back into the tie for the lead, do you have a number in mind?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I was pushing myself to get to 23 under par.  I felt like that would be obviously the winning number, but this was an important birdie because I missed two short birdie putts on 11 and 12, and if you don't birdie that short par‑4, (indiscernible).  So that was a very important momentum keeper, or momentum getter.

Q.  (Inaudible).
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah.  So obviously the pin was on the left there and I just really tried to remind myself to be aggressive there.  It would be very easy to bail out into the right half of the green, and it was a perfect number for a 5‑iron, 213 to the pin, so great number for me to hit that aggressive shot.  And this putt was about a cup outside left and just pulled it in.  It was a beautiful putt.

Q.  (Inaudible).
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah.  I mean 16, I wanted to birdie 16.  I only had 9‑iron in there toward the front right pin.  It was a good birdie opportunity.  I didn't birdie that.  Walking to the 17th tee I was trying to tell myself I needed to finish birdie, birdie.  So obviously to respond to that and do it, it doesn't always happen.  You gotta keep trying that sort of mental positive activity.  I really enjoyed it on a day when it does.

Q.  (Inaudible).
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah.  So it was about‑‑ actually quite a big break right to left, probably a foot outside the hole and actually went in with some speed.  And obviously being a Zurich ambassador there was a huge Zurich grand stand behind, and that was salute was to them.

Q.  There's still a lot of golf to play.  What will you do now?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Obviously it's a little bit of a strange situation me being so far ahead of the leaders.  I've probably got 30 minutes to think about it.  I'll see what Boo is going to do down the last, see what Cameron does on 17 and make a decision to head back out to the range.

Q.  Justin, you've posted 22.  Impressive, but I think equally as impressive 66 holes by my count without a bogey.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Wow, is that 66 straight without a bogey?

Q.  I think so.
JUSTIN ROSE:  That's probably a record for me.  Glad I didn't know that because that kind of stuff gets in your head.  But obviously to go bogey free on the weekend, I mean this golf course is playing relatively easy because it's been so soft and we've got ball in hand.  So you really have to hit some loose shots to make bogeys, but when you do miss a green, obviously up‑and‑downing still isn't easy.  You got a perfect lie, but it's still pretty grainy.  That shot I had on the last over the bunker even though I can prefer my lie, it still got my attention.

Q.  Now, you started the round quick, but then the emphatic finish.  First the tee shot on 17 and then the birdie on 18.  Walk us through that.
JUSTIN ROSE:  I was trying to‑‑ I felt like I needed to do something coming down the stretch, playing 16.  I had a nice 9‑iron there and the front right pin I felt like that was a great chance for me to make birdie check and actually missed the green and ended up making par.  So walking to the 17th green I was really trying to bully myself to be aggressive.  It would have been easy to bail out, but I had a perfect number at 213 to the pin.  I hit my 5‑iron 210.  So it was a number I could be aggressive.  And just left it left of the hole but it was a good aggressive swing, and I was really happy about the two putts I made coming in.

Q.  Now, played very well at the Masters naturally.  The week off, now the fantastic performance here, you must be feeling great about the second half of the season we're going into now?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  Augusta was huge for me confidence wise, and I think the biggest thing for me‑‑ obviously playing well was important, but feeling comfortable under pressure was the most important thing for me, and that's probably what I learned the most about myself because really I hadn't had a great season so far to that point.  I hadn't had any positives on which to draw from going into that final round at Augusta, but kind of felt really flat lined and comfortable, so again, that helped me today, just to sort of believe in myself that under the gun there is when I sort of play some of my best golf.

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