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October 15, 2015

Justin Rose

Napa, California

Q. First time out here. Tell us how it went.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, very happy with the start. I think early this morning the course played pretty different to how I played it in the practice and the pro-am. It was a little cooler and the a lot of dew on the course.

I think that starting on 10 you play some of the tougher holes on the golf course early in your round. I was 1-over through 4 but kind of realized I had maybe played some of the more difficult holes already.

I knew I had a lot of chances a head of me, so I stayed patient. Without playing great today I hit a lot of greens and managed to make enough of the round where I ended up putting a good score together.

Q. Can scores go really low. You said yesterday a lot of wedges.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, greens are good and a lot of wedges, so that's a combination where guys are going to make birdies.

But by no means is it easy, though. Still very tricky, tactical golf course I think. You have to respect some pin placements out there. You need to put the ball in play off the tee.

But like any golf course, if you do all the right things and it's in good condition, good shape, there is a low score to be had.

It's not without its little subtleties. It's a course that needs respect as well as -- you know, you're able to be confident.

Q. Are the stakes any different when you're playing a course for the first time?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, Fulch was here lat year with Westwood. He filled in for Lee for the week. Lee needed a caddy for the week and took Fulch so that was a benefit.

So Fulch had it set up in his mind how we should play the course. We veered away from the game plan on a couple holes today just due to weather conditions.

Couple holes played longer and then there was one tee we were five, six yards up, which meant I could carry a bunker. It was No. 14. So we hit driver there instead of 5-wood.

But for the most part. Fulch had a really good idea of how to play this course, which helped.

Q. Was there some part of you that was maybe glad to have the short -- you played well in Atlanta -- to have the shorten off-season carried over?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, definitely taken eight- to ten-week spells off in my career and come back feeling a little rusty or taking a week or two to get back into it.

My plan, theory, now is to take mor three-, four-week breaks. They're hard to find during the season. Even the off-season. Split it up. Look at the total weeks you have off. I am playing three of the next 11 weeks, so that's how I am viewing my off season rather than taking 11 straight off.

Q. Have you mapped out all the way through the summer?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for the most part I have. The only adjustment is last year I did a couple things different things where I played before majors. Added the Scottish Open prior to the Open Championship the last couple of years and then played Houston before Augusta this year, which obviously worked out.

Historically I like to prepare a week before the major and go to the venue and map it out. The way it looks, you've kind of got major, week off, major, week off, major, week of, Olympics.

If you want to play before majors, it's going to be a hard year in which to accomplish that. That's my take on it right now.

Q. Looking at the ranks and seeing you're 7, a lot of the guys around you are all 27 or younger. Do you feel old?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, feel like I'm getting younger. I am hitting the ball further than I ever have. Last year was the first year I've been inside the top 20 driving, and I feel like my game is going to the right place. Feel like I have five great years ahead of me.

It's exciting. But golf is in a great spot. The youngsters are playing really, really well. They all look hungry. Obviously the World No. 1 trailing around between three great guys, great players. It's good for golf.

Q. How did you improve your distance and how has it helped you?
JUSTIN ROSE: A lot of it is technique. Working hard with Sean. I think the driver is a very different golf swing from the rest of the clubs. I don't subscribe to one swing for every club. The driver is a different animal, and doing a few different things there.

Obviously equipment, driver has been fantastic. Picked up even more yardage this year with the M1. Obviously training hard, work out and staying fit.

Q. Funny, because you were the prodigy at one point. You were the 18, 19, 20 year old.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, these guys, especially Jordan, seem wise beyond his years in terms of his maturity level and obviously how competitive he is. I think that's what setting him apart.

I don't really look at Jordan as a 21 year old. He's a 30 year old who is going to play for a long time. He's kind of got extra years.

Q. You weren't that wise?
JUSTIN ROSE: Probably not. I think my results would suggest that.

Q. Justin, solid 5-under par 67 to open it up.

Q. Looked like you drove the ball pretty well. M1 working pretty good for ya?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, the M1 has been good for me. Everyone was like, how can TaylorMade bring a driver out in the middle of the playoffs? But the testing I did prior that, I couldn't wait ti to get it in my hands.

It's definitely been a -- I drove the ball so well last year, and to put a new driver in play speaks to how good it is.

Yeah, this is a golf course where you have to drive it well. If you do drive it well around here, you set up a lot of birdie chances. The par-5s are all within range and then there are a lot of par-4s where you have wedges into the green.

That's why you see guys going low. Also a tricky course. Has its subtleties. You got to put the ball in play. There are some doglegs. Pretty narrow off the tee.

It's kind of the course if you play well you can go low. It's going to find out our if you're not on your game.

Q. Obviously you came out early this morning. Temperature was pretty cool. How much did that affect you? It warmed up.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely played difficult the first few holes. You start on the 10th tee, 10 played really long.

13 is the toughest hole on the golf course. So there were some tricky holes early in the round. I was 1-over through 4, but realized there is of still going to be a lot of chances for me coming up.

Obviously I knew that the two par-5s on the back nine were going to offer chances to get the round going, and that's how it panned out.

Q. What's the key on these greens. There is a lot of undulation and can get a little quick.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, just reading the greens. You got to match your line and speed out there. They're very smooth for poana, smoothest I've putted on for a long, long time.

They're in great shape. There is no excuse about not making putts, especially in the morning. Yeah, you've got to match up your line and speed. Simple as that.

A lot of putts you're hitting -- you know, your start line is a foot outside the cup.

Q. You opened with a 5-under 67. First competitive round on this golf courses. How would you say it went?
JUSTIN ROSE: I say it went well. Always a good star start. Couple guys going lower than that. But for the first round of the year, first round out, obviously only been two weeks off so pretty sharp still, I suppose.

Yeah, it was a nice way to get things going.

Q. Happy New Year as everybody is saying. New season. How important is to get off to a good start this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, it's really important. I think it's -- well, it's a long year, but it's nice if you can get off to a great start. Just makes Christmas taste good.

You feel like you've sort of stolen a bit from everybody if you get off to a good start. Only really got my season going in the Florida swing, so this year change up my schedule a bit and play a bunch before the Florida swing.

It will be nice for me to start the FedExCup, you know, sort of maybe have good momentum starting the year.

Q. Conditions seem to be pretty good out there. Obviously a little bit of a temperature change during your round and the crowds are really relaxed. How nice is it in the first event of the season to play with crowds like that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, you're right. The atmosphere was very different, very chilled. Sort of very reflective of wine country, I suppose. It is really nice to play tournaments like this. Sort of middle of the summer the majors come thick and fast. They're rowdy, crazy, very intense.

It's really nice to come and feel like you can maybe your let your guard down a little bit and enjoy a relaxed week.

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