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June 6, 2015

Justin Rose


AMANDA HERRINGTON:¬† Justin, thank you for joining us for a few minutes after a great round today, 6‑under.¬† Familiar position, our 2010 champion here.¬† Talk about what's been going right for you.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Obviously a lot has been going right.  Today was a day where I just wanted to obviously go out and play a good round of golf.  I started the day 3 back.  I felt my finish last night, being Friday, finishing birdie, birdie gave me a boost to stay close to the leaders.  It put me in a position today where I felt like I didn't have to chase too hard.
I guess a played a good, solid, patient round of golf that it ended up turning into a great round of golf.¬† I made my birdies when I had a chance and I limited the mistakes.¬† Kind of surprised to play my way into a 3‑shot lead.¬† I was looking just to keep pace, but it's a fantastic position going into Sunday.

Q.  Can you go back to 2010, how important was this victory here, being your first on the PGA Tour?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, if you look at my career, to be honest with you, you could say it's gone from strength to strength since getting the monkey off my back and winning here at the Memorial.
I was definitely feeling the pressure for a number about of years to notch my first PGA Tour victory, and it had become pretty elusive.  As time ticks on, it becomes harder and harder.  So to finally do it and do it at a place like this and a tournament of this stature was fantastic.  It's been nice to be able to back it up from year to year for the last five years.  It definitely began to set me in a very good course, this tournament five years ago.

Q.  As usual, there are mixed reviews whether it was harder the first two days, tougher today, what's your view on the conditions and what you saw out there?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, again, I think the golf course, it's what makes it such a great golf course.  And I said it yesterday, I don't want to repeat myself too much.  Every single shot out there, you're on your toes, you're on your guard.  One poor judgment of the wind or one poor execution of an iron shot and you can make bogey in a heartbeat.
On the flip side, if you hit a good putt it typically goes in.  There's a chance to make a lot of birdies out there, but if you're not on your game, again, there's a chance to make quite a few bogeys.
It doesn't take that much for this course to get very difficult.  If the breeze gets up to 10, 15 miles a hour, it can be a pretty big challenge.  I think we've had it where we can control the ball and look at the flag for the most part the first three days.

Q.  How was the wind today?  More?  Less?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think it was fairly steady to yesterday afternoon.  Yesterday afternoon there was that strange period of time for about 20 minutes where we were sort around 11, 12, 13, where it kicked up for about 30 minutes to 20 miles an hour.  Other than that, it's been a very playable week.

Q.  If you have a good putt it goes in, what would you read with 14 green and how did that help you going forward with the rest of the round?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† 14 was an interesting hole, you're standing there in the fairway and you've got a wedge in your hand.¬† I was actually a bit in between clubs.¬† If I wanted to get the ball back to the pin, I needed to hit pitching wedge, but by hitting pitching wedge, I brought in long left.¬† If you hit it pin‑high left, you're actually going to be over the green, the way the green angles away from you.¬† I took the safe approach and hit the 52 degree under the hole, and it was nice to get rewarded for what I thought was a smart shot, by making that 25‑foot putt there.
Anytime ahead of a par 5, that was a nice momentum getter.  And then hit a good tee shot off the back on 15, which from that position there, you should make four.

Q.  The 18th didn't bite you, but it swallowed a bunch of players today.  What makes that tee shot in particular so tough today?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I think wind's off the left, so you feel if you hang on to it a little bit or if you bail any at all, there's nothing to help you keep in the fairway.  You know you're going to miss right with any type of hold sort of swing.  So you need to get out there and commitment to the middle of the fairway or even the left center of the fairway.
I actually got out there and hit what I thought was a great tee shot.¬† I think I hit it too well.¬† I hit it too far anyway.¬† And it took a firm bounce and nearly swallowed me up.¬† I was just out of the hazard on 18 off what was a good swing.¬† I think that's such a severe second shot in there.¬† The false front on the right‑hand side really‑‑ you don't have to hit too poor a shot to end up all the way down.¬† Then from that point, it's a pretty scary chip shot to be honest with you.
The second shot into 18 with the pin on the right‑hand side is the hardest shot on the golf course.

Q.¬† This is a notable second‑shot golf course and your iron play has been very good for a while.¬† When you step on this golf course, do you feel there's a number below par for you, not necessarily automatically, but certainly if you just played the way you think you should play?
JUSTIN ROSE:  You know, this course has been obviously good to me, but I've been on the wrong side of it a few times, too, which is why I respect it.  I never stand on the first tee thinking we can go get it today.  I think every time you step on the first tee here at Muirfield Village, you've going to build a smart and good round of golf.  It doesn't let up.  It doesn't give it to you by my any means.  You've got to go and really earn it.

Q.  Was there any point today where you said, yeah, I'm getting it today?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, I felt like I was getting it around 7 and then 8.¬† As my putt was running to the hole on 8, I felt like I made it to go 5‑under through 8.
But quickly got reminded with a bogey on No. 9, just not get ahead of myself.
Then two important swings really around the turn, 11 and 12, going for the green with a 5‑wood, it was probably a risky play, but it was one that I felt good about.¬† It was a perfect 5‑wood.¬† It was one that I think tempted me too much to lay it up.¬† But to pull that off and make a fairly easy birdie there was important.
And then off the back yesterday hitting a good tee shot on No. 12.  Then I felt like I had the momentum back for the rest of the round.

Q.  You won in New Orleans not that long ago.  How do you keep from getting complacent after a victory, and is that something you've had to learn throughout your career?
JUSTIN ROSE:  You know, now I'm in a situation where I want to win every year.  I've got that nice run going five, six years in a row, I forget.  Now there's pressure to win every year, so you certainly don't get complacent.
I tried to focus as hard as I could on the majors this year.  I didn't have a very good Florida Swing, I didn't have a very good start to the season, but kind of told myself this year for me was going to be about from April to September.  That was what I was really trying to pin my hopes on, especially when I was playing poorly at the start the season.
It was encouraging for me to have turned it around at Augusta.  That was a big week for me.  Obviously I finished second, which can be disappointed.  But I took a lot out of it, how I played and how I handled the situation.  Having not been in contention all year, I felt very comfortable.  And to back it up with a win the next week kind of told me I could go ahead and believe it's going to be a good summer.
You've got to take each tournament as they come.¬† Certainly don't use this tournament as preparation for the U.S. Open, but at the same time you've got to try and stay fresh for certain periods of the year.¬† And turning up here this week, I felt excited about the Memorial.¬† And the U.S. Open is like‑‑ obviously with a week off in a middle is a three‑week chunk, I felt excited about these weeks.

Q.  You were injured at the beginning of the year last year, did you learn not being able to play in the beginning of the year you can focus more on the summer?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, I had a slow start with the right shoulder early last year, too.¬† And I think it also teaches you you've got to get it while you can.¬† When you are playing well, you've got to make the most of those weeks.¬† And a lot of seasons are built around five or six weeks, the rest of it can be pretty average.¬† When you do play well‑‑¬† that's what happened to me this year.¬† When I have played well, I've converted it into good finishes.¬† Hopefully I can do that again tomorrow.

Q.  Can you talk about 2010, the swing of emotions, you went from the high of winning here and the next day to no one watching you play golf and did not get to the qualifier.  Just curious, looking back on that what your emotions were those two days?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, obviously the emotions overall, I was still happy, but at the same time I was in such a good run of form, I think that I proved ‑‑ I think it was the Travelers Championship I led by four going into the Sunday, and then I think I won the next tournament again at the AT&T.¬† So that summer of 2010, I played‑‑ starting this week, I played a great stretch of golf which kind of made me believe if I had a chance at the U.S. Open I might have had a great week that week too.¬† Sort of made the qualifying, not qualifying very disappointing.
But there's always a big kind of come down after winning, I think, after winning a major, after winning your first tournament.¬† And I think a lot of us don't really realize how much it does take out of it us.¬† And certainly to turn it around so quickly the next day, I don't know what happened but I just probably‑‑ you start to make a bogey or two and you don't have quite the same resilience, maybe.

Q.  Wondering your reaction to Tiger shooting 85 today.  What kind of advice might you offer someone who has a tough round like that?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, that's definitely a tough round.¬† I was on the putting green, actually, while he was finishing his round.¬† And Fulch told me that he needed to up‑and‑down for 82 or something, and obviously the next thing you see he made an 8.¬† And obviously I guess that the 18th hole, it definitely took some names today.
Yeah, it's obviously that's a tough round to swallow.  You can't really blame the weather or this or that.  It's a course he's played well on.  I'm not sure I have any advice really at this point.  That's just a tough round to swallow, really.

Q.¬† You referred a little earlier about your respect for the golf course.¬† When you look at your record here, it's feast or famine.¬† You've had a win and a couple of T8s, and‑‑

Q.  What is it about that?  Is it just what you referred to and just does it rise up and get you a little bit?
JUSTIN ROSE:  When you're on, you're on around here, and when you're off, you're off.  And maybe in the past when I've come in not playing well, I haven't had my iron play to back me up.  And I've made too many mistakes, and therefore missed the cut.
But for the most part, I feel like when I'm playing well this course suits me.  So that's probably why it's been feast or famine, really.

Q.  When you talk about gearing your year around the majors, did you try to do that in 2013?  And is there any risk that when you do build everything around the majors that you lose sight of kind of a body of work in which winning kind of feeds the confidence that puts you in position for when those big events comes around?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  I'm not necessarily saying I'm in that point in my career, but to solely focus on the major championships, you need to be at such a high level of play that the other wins come around relatively easily and keeps the confidence going.
So it is dangerous to pin all your hopes on the majors and to plan your schedule completely around that because, absolutely, winning does breed confidence.
But 2013 was probably the first year where I dedicated myself to the preparation for major championships and Merion was the first course that I felt like I really put the three or four days extra in, that I'd never done in the past and committed to the time and committed to going up and making a week out of the preparation week.  And to see that pay off was obviously a lesson that I'm trying to incorporate going forward.

Q.  Mike Davis cites you in Merion as an example of just not being able to show up at Chambers Bay?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Right.  I think Phil also spent two or three days at Merion, as well.  And I think we were there at the same time and both of us obviously finished 1 and 2 there.
Yeah, I think Mike quite likes that story, obviously, and the players who get their head around the test of the USGA of trying to present tend to do well.¬† Yeah, it will be interesting to see‑‑ I've definitely seen a trend of players turning up earlier and earlier and getting as many rounds in as they can.¬† I think preparation is a huge part.

Q.  What's the plan for Chambers Bay?
JUSTIN ROSE:  It's been such a hard venue to get to all the way out west.  But I'm going to head up there early, probably get there Thursday night and play Friday, Saturday, Sunday, which is something I don't normally like to do.  I normally like to do it a week in advance, then get fresh, spend the weekend at home and turn back up there Tuesday so the week doesn't become so long.
This year, you've always got to try and adapt, but this year it hasn't been possible to schedule it the way I did for Merion.  But I'm definitely going to get the rounds in.

Q.  You alluded earlier to the birdie, birdie finish yesterday.  What carried over more, the satisfaction of two birdies or the execution that got them?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I think the execution that got them, the fact I stayed patient, the fact that I felt that‑‑ Fulch said to me yesterday, he said I really like our position in the tournament, and it kind of made me feel that, all right, there's no panic, there's no rush, you don't have to force anything, just let it come to me.
And that's the kind of round I played today.  I didn't force any hole.  I didn't force any shot.  But I hit the right shot at the right time which helped me build the score.  So that needs to be my own lesson for tomorrow, really, not go out there and really chase a number or chase a score, just play every shot I see it and commit 100 percent.
I felt yesterday I didn't commit well at all early in my round.¬† I felt like the wind‑‑ I didn't have a good handle on it.¬† Certainly No. 12, I didn't hit a very committed shot.¬† So my goal today was to pick a number and commit 100 percent to the shot, which is obviously a great mindset to play.

Q.  Had you just made par at those two holes, would the execution have still carried over because you hit good shots and then you would know you would be still hitting good shots today or could do it?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† The only thing I could say is that it might have just tempted me today to try and post a number, to try and get close to the leaders, to assume the lead might get to 14 today.¬† And to think that I'm at 7, I need to shoot at least 5‑under to feel I have a great chance going into Sunday.¬† Whereas being 3 back, I felt like‑‑ I'd have been happy starting tomorrow two or three back if I just kept pace with the leaders today.¬† So those two birdies last night changed my mentality today for sure.

Q.  Did Fulch say how he liked your position coming off 18?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think he likes it even more now.  Hopefully he'll like it even more tomorrow, but we'll see.

Q.  After the Match Play and the PLAYERS, what did you do in that span between then and now to get everything back straight, it seems like?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I felt like in the match play I actually played some good golf there, so there was nothing to alarm myself there.
And then THE PLAYERS Championship has been one of those venues that I've had a hard time at.  I didn't really read too much into that.
And Wentworth, to be honest with you, I felt like I was one swing or one run of birdies away from playing really well.¬† It was a just a very flat week, where I was 1‑under or 3‑under between 72 holes.¬† It was a week where I couldn't get going.¬† I told myself after Wentworth that my game feels exactly where I need it to be.¬† I just needed that spark of confidence for something to click.
So last week I was at home and did a little bit of practice, played a bit of golf, but had enough R & R as well, and hit the gym pretty hard last week with the U.S. Open in mind.  The majority of my training was done last week, and then maintenance now for the next few weeks.
AMANDA HERRINGTON:  Well, we really appreciate your time here.  Thank you.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Thanks, guys.

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