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October 14, 2015

Justin Rose

Napa, California

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Justin Rose. Justin, you just had a couple weeks off. I know you had your foundation event going on in Orlando. Just update us on what you've been doing the couple weeks and your thoughts coming into the new PGA TOUR season.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I felt like I had a four-day off-season, and then got stuck in -- we went to Orlando for our fundraiser, which went very well. It's a Sunday evening and Monday morning golf kind of deal.

It was great. Record year. Raised $550,000 I think it was, so it was a very, very successful event.

After that, I went up to Pine Valley in Marion for a couple days with friends just to get some fall golf in up north. It's always a treat for me to go back to Marion obviously any time.

Yeah, then got back home and started testing some new clubs and here I am. Looking forward to the start of the season.


Q. What are your thoughts on Silverado, and how do you like your chances this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, so really enjoy the area. It's obviously beautiful area to be. I think Silverado is a really fun little golf course. A lot of wedges, a lot of short holes, but with the greens being firm, doesn't make it that easy.

I think you really need to put the ball in play off the tee, which might mean laying back. Not many drivers out here I don't think, especially on the back nine. A lot of 5-woods off the tee just to keep in position.

Then if you can be very accurate with your short, mid-irons, or mid-irons -- short to sort of sand wedges and stuff like that, you'll have a lot of the birdie chances. It's an exciting finish. Two par-5s in the last three holes, and I think they can push the tee up on 16 one day.

Probably set for some pretty good scoring, but at the same time, if you push too hard around this course you can find some trouble.

Q. Two questions: One, does it even feel like an off-season, like a new season? And No. 2, do you sort of view it -- how do you view it, I guess?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, doesn't feel like a new season. I guess you need to flip the switch tomorrow morning. As of tomorrow it is. We're playing for the 2016 FedExCup. Any time you get off to a good start it takes off a lot of pressure, and then you can kind of build your schedule a little more conservatively.

2016 is going to be a very interesting year scheduling -- wise obviously with the majors being very condensed in the summer and with the Olympics as well.

If you kind of put yourself behind the eight ball in the FedExCup, you feel like you're trying to add events to do well in the FedExCup and you have all the other commitments, It think it's going to be a tight year. The strongest start you can get off to is really going to ease things in the summer quite a bit.

Yeah, get out of the gates quick is obviously a goal of mine.

Q. So you were out there and made a special trip over to meet Stephen Curry. As somebody from England, what is your basketball knowledge and fandom now that you play quite a bit in America?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think probably living in Orlando obviously had the Orlando Magic, and one American sport I probably watched the most. Have never really got into football. Every year I say I'm going to get into the NFL and I never quite pick a team, never quite get into the NFL.

Basketball is a pretty easy sport to follow and I enjoy it. For me, it was New Orleans this year. Went to one of the games, Golden State Warriors playing New Orleans, and saw him play for the first time. I was just struck by his confidence. He started the game really hot. Kind of went cold in the middle of the game and had a great buzzer beater right at the end of the game.

My caddie, during the New Orleans tournament, we got off to a good start; felt like I went a little bit cold. He said, Remember Steph Curry. He just kept wanting the ball and kept shooting.

Do the same. Just keep see the putts going in. That kind of sparked a little run for me, and so I shared that with the media that week. Somehow word got back to Steph Curry. The following week we fly to San Francisco. I take a day off. It's a match play week. I take a day off and I am walking Union Square shopping. Who do I bump into? Steph Curry. He was out shopping with his wife. Had a day off. It was the craziest thing.

He had heard about my sort of giving him some love. I just wanted to go over and say hi again in more familiar surroundings for me than downtown San Francisco.

Q. Justin, you and Charl and Rory, you're here because you got on extension a couple years ago to play in Turkey. You knew then you're going to come here eventually. Do you like this sort of situation, or does it hang in the back of your mind, oh, my God, eventually I got to get to wine country and play golf? And I know you played all over California so not like you've never been here.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, obviously been in the back of my mind as you say for four years to sort of build this into my schedule. I think this was the right year for me to do it. Other years I had commitments in Europe or just seemed tight or not been the most ideal time to fit a tournament in.

For some reason this year -- obviously wasn't last year and I had to play this year. I don't know if that made it a good -- the schedule opened up because I just felt that -- well, it's been in my mind for six months. Been on the schedule for six months.

Also I'm pretty excited about my end of the season, where I'm playing, where I'm resting, and starting the year strong. Been to Napa for the first time this year in February. Spend some time up here. Since that moment I have been excited about coming back I enjoy my wine.

But this is obviously a week where it's a bit of a Catch 22. You don't want to enjoy your wine too much this week either.

Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, tea as in t-e-a, not my tee time, right? Yeah, tea time, it's definitely a ritual for me. I start a day with a cup of tea and always end the day the day with a cup of tea. It's certainly a nice afternoon relaxing thing. I keep that ritual even out or on tour to this day.

If it's Starbucks or somewhere else, it's always a good excuse to stop and relax. So something I've kept going.

Q. The one thing Steph Curry could probably not relate to at all is your schedule. He's hopefully peaking for one great performance during the playoffs, peak performance leading up to the NBA finals. Have you figured out a balance that works for you in peaking for the majors, the race for Dubai, the FedExCup? You guys have so many big events. It's not like you compete for any one time of the year.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, so I think consistency, having your mean average go up year after year is what you strive for. That's been good for me the last couple years. I have been relatively consistent. I haven't had big peaks and troughs. I've kept a pretty good baseline.

Great years I've build around four or five good weeks, and obviously it's great to try and engineer that performance and to do everything in your control, control all the variables in order to try and peak. I do that.

I have a system where I believe I -- I have a heavy training week and do all the things always two weeks prior to when I want to peak. That's just what works for my rhythm. I try to schedule the majors that way. I try to prepare for the majors that way. Doesn't always work.

This year I did a good job of preparing for the majors and peaking in them too. I had three top 6s I think and overall played pretty well. So I think I'm doing a pretty good job of targeting the time of year I want to play well.

I had a pretty poor start to the year, but turned it round for Augusta. That was the beginning of playing well.

I said earlier last year -- this year -- getting confused already. I said earlier this year that it was all about April to September. That's when I wanted to play well. I did a pretty good job of getting myself into that position.

Q. There are a number of guys who are here that don't have such solid status on the PGA TOUR. These tournaments at the end of the year from now until the end of the actual calendar year are pretty big for them. Just wondering what your memories are of when he were trying to establish a foothold on the PGA TOUR, European Tour, and what it's like to play with that type of pressure?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, obviously a lot of new faces out here this week and a lot of guys I haven't had the chance to meet or get to know or know their names. Yeah, definitely a changing of the guard every year around this time.

I think, yeah, the guys need to make the most of it. There are always re-ranks and the fields gets stronger and stronger sort of as we head into the I would say the Florida swing really. Everybody is up and running and ready to play and play a heavy schedule through the summer, so it's a great opportunity for guys.

Obviously guys who have just made their card, they're are out here. They've got tons of exuberance and they're excited to go. It's important that they make the most of it. I think probably a lot of the nervous energy, too. Anticipation. Guys can get off to a good start can get really their confidence rolling and can sort of set up a fantastic year.

It can also go the other way for a lot of other guys, that sort of anticipation, nervous energy, and then they try too hard and things can go south pretty quickly. Yeah, to find that balance, you know, that's always what kind of separates the guys who are going to make it and the guys who don't, obviously who handled that situation the best.

Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely a long time ago for me. It was probably I was in my teens. I turned pro at 17 and then was trying to figure it all out 18, 19, 20, very early. For some reason that does make it easier, too, because you realize you have so much time on your side.

But it's never easy. You're trying to get comfortable in new surroundings. You're trying to fit in. You're trying to learn the courses. There is a lot more challenges and obstacles in your way than for a guy that's been out here five, six, seven years and feels comfortable and knows where he likes to play and can build a pretty easy schedule.

Q. How many times have you been back to Marion, and is there any kind of accommodation or anything they put in the clubhouse honoring your victory that you noticed that gave you a good feeling?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, been back three times. Went back the following September after winning. October actually. I went back last year October and again this year October, so been back pretty much the same time each year, and always get a very warm welcome.

The club has been fantastic to me. I am actually a member of Marion, so it's nice to go back as a member. This is the first time I've gone back without sort of any official duties, if you like. I played the Bob Jones Memorial Tournament they have there, and that's a great time, but also the night that I became a member sort of turned into a bit of a new-member kind of evening.

But this year took three of my friends and signed them in and footed the bill and played golf as a member. It was quite cool. So no special treatment this time round, which I really enjoyed. I think that's what the club wants. I'm not a member there because I won the U.S. Open. I'm a member because I made a lot of friends in the process and want to be a part of the club.

Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN ROSE: There is a lot of the history there. I think that's what they pride themselves in. It's a club that is steeped in history. I have my little section attributed to the 2013 U.S. Open and my scorecards and some tickets and a little display that commemorates it.

But nothing over the top or out of the ordinary.

Q. Get a good locker location?
JUSTIN ROSE: To be honest with you, I didn't make it up to the locker. It was like a typical member experience: Late for your tee times, throw on your shoes in the car park, run to the first tee, couple breakfast balls, mulligan. You know, doing it how you guys do it. (Laughter.)

Q. Did they put a plaque on the back collar of the green to show where your 4-iron wound up after hitting the green?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, well, that was such a tough green to hit that I'll take a plaque anyway, to be honest with you. My friends made me little plague. Looks exactly like Hogan's plaque. Took a whole bunch of them the first time I went back the first October. Yeah, we put it in the fairway just to show people where I hit it. I played if the first group.

A lot of people thought I hit it right by Hogan's plaque, but actually it was a sprinkler head where my ball is, like a foot.

Q. Last year. If I'm not mistaken, you had HSBC and I want to say San Diego. By the time you got to Florida you had two TOUR starts under your belt and didn't get off to really a great start until Augusta probably. Was there any part of you that looked back and felt like you were having to chase too early in the season, or were you comfortable with the schedule you had set up?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think I was definitely under a little bit of pressure for sure. I try to look at it as, Okay, what are the tournaments I really want to play well in what are the tournaments I want to win? That's obviously the majors and obviously FedExCup and playoffs events and World Golf Championships. All of that fell between April and September.

Sometimes you can be in July and you can't remember who won the tournament at this time of year. The year is really long and you've got to pace yourself. There is no doubt I would love to be in a stronger position earlier in the year. That's not a position I would like to put myself in again.

At the same time, you have 12 months to play. We start two weeks after we finish. You really got to pace yourself.

Q. As far as peaking, you were 14-under in two majors and didn't win either major. Does that change your process at all or approach at all going into the majors this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, it just excites me. I think that sometimes you need to pay your dues or knock on the door a little bit. I think I won a major before I had really ever lost a couple majors, so I kind of got the monkey off my back relatively early.

This year was a good confidence builder to me again that to try and signal to myself that I'm ready to win again another major.

I certainly felt this year I played well enough to win certainly the Masters and then again the U.S. PGA. I got it to 17-under par at one point. I had a putt to go 17 under. Pretty short putt at Whistling Straits. I was playing some great golf.

Other than a couple phenomenal performances by individuals, record-breaking performances, I was right there. So if I can keep this level up and keep knocking on the door it's bound t open again.

Q. In a perfect world, would you like to have golf go dark for any amount of time so that everyone was having to take a break and no one would be behind the eight ball when play resumed or whenever they chose to return from a break?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, I would like a couple months. Eight weeks I think is good for everyone to refresh and go away, work on stuff, rebuild, refocus restrategize, whatever you need to do.

But that would be ideal, to have a true off-season. Everyone is in the same position. Who can go away and reinvent themselves and come out better the following season. That's all part of the job. Now you need to figure out different ways to doing that. You need to build a schedule in a way that you're still giving yourself that time off.

Saying that, I have taken eight, ten week breaks in my career, and sometimes I do find it hard to come straight back out, feel fresh and geared up and ready to go. Sometimes there is that two or three weeks of rustiness that you need t0 shake off.

The way it is now, I feel like as long as you can give yourself the appropriate amount of rest. One or two weeks off is not really enough to change anything or work on anything. You do need a three, four week break at times to really make progress on something, whether it be physical or mental, or equipment-wise.

Yeah, I would love a couple months if we were all in the same boat.

Q. But you never get that four-week break to work. Maybe would that be January for you or...
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, obviously I've got -- I'm trying to work it out. I think I am playing three of the next 11 or 12 weeks, something like that. I've only ever got a maximum of three or four weeks off, but I have a good break between now and end or middle of January.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time, Justin.

JUSTIN ROSE: Thank you.

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