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July 10, 2015

Justin Rose


JUSTIN ROSE: Dried up a little bit on the back nine, missed a few too many fairways on the left. Still managed to get the ball within birdie range, but I just couldn't find the putt.

Q. Percentage terms, where would you say your game is?
JUSTIN ROSE: Definitely some good elements out there, but I would say sort of running about 50 percent, still a couple loose shots which I'm getting away with on this golf course. Some other courses you might not get away with it. Definitely some room for improvement.

Q. Still a very, very tidy start. You've done it in the company of Phil Mickelson. You always seem to enjoy yourself when you're up against him?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've played well over the last couple of years when I've played against Phil. Always enjoy playing golf with him, he's always very creative out there on the golf course. You never quite know what's going to happen next. He's fun to be with.

Q. He brings the best out of you when you think of Ryder Cups and all that kind of thing?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. I don't like to rub it in on him too much. You never want to make Phil mad because he can play some incredible golf.

Q. What are your thoughts heading into the weekend? What do you want to get out of it? Obviously you are defending champion, but in terms of where you want your game to be come Sunday night, heading to St. Andrews?
JUSTIN ROSE: I just want to get clearer and clearer with my preshot routine and focus and get freer and freer over the putter. Go into next week with a good mindset. My mindset feels good right now, I feel calm. Just get that freedom going which is what you are going to need down the stretch in a major.

Q. 8-under, 50 percent, quite exciting, how much you can do with it?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. It doesn't always translate to score, so if I'm at 100 percent doesn't mean I'm going to be 16 under. This golf course has probably let me away with a little bit last couple of days. But I think I've managed my game well because of that. I played the hard holes well, I feel, which is a good sign. Yeah, kept it very clean.

Q. Two more 66s do it?
JUSTIN ROSE: If it gets a little windy, which someone just said it might, then I think that will do it. I think maybe 10 or 11 will lead by the end of the day. If you go forward every day, that's the key. That's why I did well last year, so I was 69 but got better every day. Probably going to need something similar this year.

Q. One of those tee shots left on 16, just unfortunately hit that chap on the head. Was he all right?
JUSTIN ROSE: He was reasonably okay. A bit of blood, obviously, and that's never a nice sight. Elderly gentleman, but he took it incredibly well. He was on the floor resting. He was talking to me and he seemed somewhat okay. It's never a nice feeling. I can't see down the left side of that hole, and I was hoping my ball was going to sort of hold up and go a little bit further to the right. I saw it jump up in the air, as soon as I saw that I knew it wasn't going up. When I was walking up there, didn't seem to be much of a commotion, so I was hoping it hit the white stake. But then as I got nearer there was somebody sitting down.

Q. What did he say to you?
JUSTIN ROSE: He said I've been coming to golf tournaments for year and years and I've never been hit. Phil came over and said I'm sorry, it wasn't me this time.

Q. (Inaudible?)
JUSTIN ROSE: I think he got weak at the knees, but he came around pretty quick.

Q. I take it the satisfaction is there with two back-to-back 66s?
JUSTIN ROSE: I guess so. I'd probably take that this morning. I felt like I got hot on the front nine. I felt like there was a round to be had today. There were great conditions on the back nine and I really feel like I could have posted a pretty low number. Driver just went a little bit too far to the left and that obviously made it tough to get close to some of the pins.

Q. Does it make it frustrating?
JUSTIN ROSE: If it was Sunday, yes. Somebody is going to get past 8 today, so obviously I think if it was Sunday, if I had left a few on the back nine -- at this point it's about keeping pace and getting in position for the weekend.

Q. One of those slightly wayward ones hit a fellow on the course. Did you go see him?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I did. The wind was off the left on 16 and hit it down the left side and I was hoping I was going to keep working back towards the fairway. There's some hay down the left, so you can't quite see where the spectator gallery line is and then all of a sudden -- because you can't see the spectators, but I saw the ball pop up. Whenever you see the ball jump into the air, it's not hitting anywhere soft. So I was pretty concerned walking up there. There didn't seem to be a commotion, but then I saw someone moving the white stake. I thought maybe it just hit the stake or something. I realized somebody was on the ground and it was a pretty bad feeling.

Q. You looked pretty cut up about it for a while?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, you hope it's not a kid, you hope it's not a woman, obviously an elderly gentleman, it's not nice. But he took it like a trooper. He was talking to me and that's always slightly reassuring. Definitely going to leave a mark.

Q. I think it's reassuring to see your name right at the top in a lovely position into the weekend?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. I'm enjoying the week, enjoying the golf course. I didn't know before this week and playing the Pro-Am, the course surprised me how good it is really. You look at it from this side and it looks like it's going to be up and down the hills all day, but it's got some really nice holes on it.

Q. You have got five birdies out there. Nice conditions. You must be happy?
JUSTIN ROSE: Absolutely, yeah. Nice way to start the tournament, two 66s. Do I think we'll be leading? No. But still that's not -- it's the goal to be leading by Sunday so it's a nice start and position for the weekend.

Q. Going into tomorrow, it's going to be windy tomorrow, how are you going to approach it?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think the wind will be fun to play this golf course. I think it's fairly straightforward off the tee, so I think a bit of breeze will kind of -- I feel like I had a lot of birdie putts from 10 or 15 feet this week. So I think a breeze will challenge the iron player
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