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July 9, 2015

Justin Rose


Q. Reflections on your opening round?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, good, solid start. Nice to finish with a birdie. I think that -- felt like there was a score on out there. You saw a 7, lots of 5s on the board. Part way through my back nine, I was kind of feeling like I wanted to finish strong and managed to make a putt at 16 and gave that back at 17 with a sloppy 3-putt but it was nice to birdie the last.

Q. Did the par save at the first give you the momentum to make a quick start?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, a little bit but it was fairly routine. I felt like if I had made 5 on the first from where I was, that would have been a real dropped shot. That was a 90 per cent up-and-down shot. Having not got up-and-down, it would have been frustrating. So it was important to just clean up that chip-and-putt on No. 1.

Q. And the first birdie of the afternoon?
JUSTIN ROSE: That came at No. 2. Had about a 6-, 7-footer there, just outside left edge. It was nice to make one. I hit driver off the tee there and was right between 3-wood and, well, I had no club really, so I hit 3-iron out to the right and gave myself a chance for an up-and-down. 4, up the hill 9-iron to about two feet. That's a tough hole, No. 4, so to get out of there with a very easy birdie was nice.

Q. And after the 3-putt on 17, nice to finish?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I took a bit of a risk off the tee. I didn't really have a great club. I could have hit 3-iron. If I was leading the tournament, I would have hit 3-iron off the tee. But 3-wood brought the bunkers in; driver potentially brought the two bunkers in way down the fairway, and took a bit of a gamble hitting driver but set me up with a sand wedge into the green and made birdie.

Q. How would you summarise your position?
JUSTIN ROSE: Perfect start. Means I don't have to press too hard tomorrow. Who knows what the weather can do. I don't know if I'm going to get a good draw, bad draw, indifferent draw, we'll see. Coming out in the morning, sometimes you have a chance to get a nice, calm morning and post another good score.

Q. That must go down as a very satisfying start to a title defence.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, very much so. I think I felt pretty calm and comfortable out there. Felt like it was a pretty stress-free day. Didn't burn up too much energy out there. Nice way to finish obviously. I think the only thing I felt really was the middle of the back nine I was sort of sensing, I wanted to get something going coming in. I felt like I left a few out there on the greens and you feel like you're leaving them out there because the greens are actually very perfect, they are in great shape. You feel like you can make some putts here this week. But exactly the kind of start you want. Obviously haven't really -- wasn't a great round but it was a very good round.

Q. Is there any sense that you're feeling your way around the course with which you're not overly familiar, or is the product of teamwork with your caddie making it so that it's almost second nature to play it?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think we are still feeling our way around. We are still learning our lines. A couple of times I'm choosing lines, especially on semi-blind holes, it feels like I'm hitting into a third of the fairway. Haven't quite sussed out where the fat of the fairway is. On this golf course, seems to be one side of the rough is less penal than the other. So I'm still trying to find, on some particular par fours, I'm still about 15 yards out with my line but we're working on it.

Q. But it's interesting, isn't it, to be playing a tournament this week but having spent the first couple of days of the week elsewhere thinking about next week.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. Fooch came here on the weekend and did some work and walked the course. So I felt like that freed me up to skip a practise round here and put one extra in at St. Andrews. He's doing the hard work and making my schedule a lot easier.

Q. But in terms of obviously next week, how does this week sort of help that?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think you're playing in the same conditions. 15- to 20-mile-an-hour wind, cool-ish, just being in this environment, I think you start to learn how far the ball is going, the bounce, stuff like that. From what I saw at St. Andrews, the courses are very similar in terms of how soft and firm they are. So from that perspective, it's great preparation.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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