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June 5, 2015

Justin Rose


Q.  67 today, 68 yesterday, seven birdies.  Just one bad hole, that 12th hole.  How would you rate this performance today?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, it was a fun day out there.  A lot of people out there.  It was great.  A great crowd.  Obviously playing with Jordan was exciting, Tiger in front of us.  It was a real nice sort of day where you feel like on the PGA Tour it doesn't get any better than that.
I said out there on the golf course that this course‑‑ there are birdies to be had, but every shot gets your attention.  I think that's the mark of a great golf course, because you can't get lazy out there for one second, and if you do you'll make bogey or worse.  But obviously if you play well and commit to your shots, there's birdies to be had, so it was a fun day.

Q.  You've not only won here, you've also won the U.S. Open, which is just a couple of weeks away.  Do you feel your game is trending in the right direction as we make our way towards Chambers Bay?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, for sure, obviously at Augusta and then Zurich Classic, I played some good golf.  And as is the case sometimes is, we tend to drop off.
But arriving here, I felt excited about this next run of golf.  And part of playing well is having the mindset that you want to be there and you're excited about competing.  If you turn up somewhere where you have played well, it does help.

Q.  Classy way to finish‑‑ birdie, birdie for you?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I tell you what, I felt like around the turn, and certainly through the 12th hole for me, the whole group went really felt.  It was hard for us to make any birdies.  We had a few chances.  Putts were slipping by.
I said to all the guys on the 15th hole, let's see if we can get some energy going the last few holes.  But for me it was nice to finish 3, 3, for sure.

Q.  As you stood on your tee shot on 12, I said, somebody has to draw the short stick and you just could not pick a worse time to play the 12th.  The wind was swirling and you had plenty of club.  I think it was a 7‑iron.  It just stood straight up in the air?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, there was like a mini storm or the edge of a storm, it felt like.  And for ten minutes the wind picked up to 15, 20 miles an hour.  And I said to the boys, we couldn't pick a worse hole for that to happen.
But obviously I got out there, and, as is the case with this golf course, if you're not 100 percent committed, it normally finds you out.  I had a lot of club in my hand, as you say, but I probably didn't hit all of it.  I got a little bit lazy on the swing.  And yeah, it did stand up and it went not even close, ten yards short.
Jordan gave his 7‑iron a little extra and he was way in the back bunker.  So I don't know what Bill Haas was thinking.

Q.  Bill Haas had to put it on the green and make par from there.  I thought you salvaged a really solid round of golf with the birdies on the last two holes.  Your thoughts going into the weekend?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, my caddie said to me playing 16, he said, I really like the position we're in.  He obviously sensed that I was potentially getting frustrated because nothing was happening.  But that sort of encouraged me through 33 holes of the tournament, we are in a good spot.  So obviously finishing birdie, birdie makes it an even better spot going into the weekend.  I'm very encouraged with the way I'm playing.

Q.  Can you talk about your round and what was going good today?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Obviously it was a fun day out there.  For me it was sort of a round similar to Jordan's yesterday, where I started out making quite a few saves.  I think three of my first four holes I made saves out of the bunker, so that was nice, kept some momentum going.
And then birdied the par 5s.  Birdied 5 and birdied 7, which made me feel like I was on track for a good round.
And then finished the front nine strongly, actually three birdies in a row, 8, 9 and 10, which really got the round going.  5‑under through 10, I felt like some good things could happen.
Middle of the fairway on 11, another good birdie chance.  And then it kind of fell flat, really.  Obviously made double bogey at 12 and stepped on that tee.  There was a gusty sort of edge of a storm, it felt like, that came through.  Wind was blowing about 20 miles an hour, couldn't have picked a worse hole for that to happen on.  But didn't make a very committed swing with a 7‑iron, made double.  And like I said, just tried to stay patient, because the whole group fell a bit flat around the turn and through the middle of the back nine.
To finish 3, 3 is all I could ask for.  I'm in a good position.

Q.  That's the nature of this golf course, you make a mistake, it's not like a lot of other courses, a lot of water and high rough, the stakes compound pretty easily, too?
JUSTIN ROSE:  They do.  I think that's what makes it such a brilliant golf course.  There's birdies to be had out there.  There's low scores to be had.  Even though the course is yielding birdies, every single shot has got your attention.  And I think that's what makes it a really awesome test of golf, kind of a fun test.  It's nice to play a course where you get rewarded for playing well.  And obviously it tells you if you haven't done the right things, too.

Q.  What did you hit at 15?  Was it 15?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Par 5, hit it right of the trees, obviously laid up.  And felt like I had a good club into that green, I thought it was quite a bit short in the thick rough on the top of the bunker.  But when I got up there, it was only five yards short.

Q.  What did you post on 17, 18?
JUSTIN ROSE:  3‑wood, 8‑iron.  And then driver, 8‑iron to the last two holes.  They were playing a bit shorter today down breeze.  Made a bit of a difference.
The 18th hole played so tough yesterday.  The front right pin on 18 was a real tough pin.  Today was probably the easiest pin, the back left portion.  It was nice to finish strong.

Q.  What were you trying to do with the 7‑iron on 12?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I knew it was a lot of club.  I only had 150 to the front edge.  And often when you hit a smooth shot it comes out with less spin.  So the hard 8 spins up in the air and the low 7, the smooth 7, drills through the wind.  So I kind of just stood up there and put a really lazy swing on it, I guess.  But I think it did stand up pretty good into the wind and came up about 10, 15 yards short.

Q.  You knew it was in the air?
JUSTIN ROSE:  As soon as I hit it‑‑ I kept the head cover on it.

Q.  There's been close to record low numbers the last two days, what's the explanation there?  What are you seeing in terms of conditions and why everybody is so low?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think yesterday morning was fairly benign.  I guess the afternoon was, too, because the scoring was amazing.  Didn't watch much golf, but scoring seemed better in the afternoon, even more than the morning.  That's probably due to the ball going a little bit further.
The weather has been good, obviously.  The wind picked up.  It was a bit tricky this afternoon.  But I think the course is in perfect condition, the weather has been perfect.  Normally it's very soft.  It's still soft in terms of scoring, but you're getting a little bit of bounce on the driver and the tee shots, so you're picking up 5 to 15 yards of roll.  And sometimes that doesn't happen here.  And the greens are still receptive.
If it doesn't rain for the next couple of days, which would be a miracle, but if it doesn't I think the course will firm up and it will be tricky, especially if we get a breeze.
I think Sunday might be a little windier from what I saw.  That can always change things around here.

Q.  When you finished birdie, birdie, obviously the score itself makes you happy, you got a couple shots back.  Is there something else that it does for you as far as just almost relaxing?  Because the last few shots you hit were good shots.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I think it's a lesson, as well, to stay patient in the middle of the round if things aren't going your way.  It's a good case in point.
Next time, if I'm being that way, it's a good thing to remember, hey, you can birdie the last two, stay patient.  But my caddie said something really good to me going down 16, he said, I really like where we are in the tournament right now.  Okay, cool.  No need to press.  Kind of took my mind away from, hey, everything is going flat to we're still in good shape.

Q.  Has he ever lied to you?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I'm sure he has.  Whatever it takes, right?

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