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March 18, 2016

Justin Rose

Orlando, Florida

Q. Beautiful 66, no bogies on the card. We were having an interesting conversation while we were watching the golf about the difficulty of the golf course yet when you play well you can score on this golf course.
What does that mean to you?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think it's mark of a good golf course. While we chatting off the air that's what I said, it reminds me of the Memorial which happens to be Jack's tournament.

I love those types of golf courses that reward good golf but punish sloppy play, I guess, and obviously look at the guys at the top of the leaderboard, especially Jason and Henrik, great ball-strikers. Obviously on the top of their name.

Q. When you see someone like Jason go out and do what he did this morning and you see him at 13-under par, kind of far away in the distance before you even tee off, what's your mindset even though it's only a Friday and 2nd Round of the PGA TOUR?
JUSTIN ROSE: I thought he was at 12. Yeah, you can't pay too much attention to that. I knew he played well and I didn't have much of an effect on me today to be honest with you. I just went out and played my game, focused on what I had to do. I guess I did that today. One of the things I think you need to do well around here is make most of the par-5s and kept a clean sheet.

Q. Thanks for coming by. Did you watch --
JUSTIN ROSE: Jason played well. I just answered that question over there. It really didn't seem to bother me, didn't affect me, didn't change the way I wanted to go out and play my round of golf.

I just wanted to go out and put a good score together. Very pleased with the way I played today. No 5s on of the card I guess is the highlight of the day. Yesterday was a colorful scorecard and today little bit more solid. But, yeah, very happy with my position going into the weekend.

Q. (Inaudible).
JUSTIN ROSE: Yes, nice tee shot there. Hit driver off the tee and set me up with a sand wedge. That sort of pin, front right pin with the sand wedge is exactly where you need to be taking advantage.

Q. Big par there.
JUSTIN ROSE: Got it up short of the green. Pretty easy up and down. Hit my little left to right spinny chip shot in there trying to fight the slope and probably overcomplicated it.

Q. (Inaudible).
JUSTIN ROSE: Feels good. I'm driving the ball well. Hitting it pretty far as well. Short game feels pretty sharp. Beginning to putt well and feeling like I'm playing pretty good.

My iron play is probably the one area of my game I still want to fix up. Obviously this weekend and heading into the Masters, I continue to get better.

Q. There are low scores out there. What is your approach for the weekend, approach the final 36?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. Obviously two class players in front me but that shouldn't change my perspective or my game. It's the kind of golf course you play well on you can shoot good scores. Just continue to be aggressive and play good golf and trying to find the birdies. You know, trying to look no further than the first tee tomorrow.

Q. Justin, we've used term "clinical" to describe your Friday afternoon. Would you go there?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I mean if you look at the scorecard it certainly was. No 5s on it, taking care of the par-5s which I think is something you have to do at Bay Hill and yeah, I guess going mistake-free.

Fun round, messy round, all sorts of stuff flying around. Today was a round to be proud of.

Q. You came in here off three sub-standard rounds for your high standards at the WGC with the final round 67. Is that sort of what kicked the momentum for you?
JUSTIN ROSE: The WGC was actually a great week for me. I had no business to play. I had the flu early in the week. My back completely spasmed and locked up both Thursday and Friday. Didn't think I was going to get to the first tee, just kind of kept one foot in front of another and really proud of the way I battled through the WGC.

I actually took a lot of heart from those rounds and even this week still not a hundred percent, fighting a few things. Just persevering, really, and just trying to get stronger and better each week.

Q. Top three guys on the leaderboard live in this environment in Orlando. Is that an advantage or disadvantage?
JUSTIN ROSE: It can be both. Obviously you have more distractions but you have the comforts of being at home. Historically I've always played well sleeping in my own bed. Obviously that's continuing this weekend but it's probably something you need to learn to manage.

People come around or whatever. So, you know, you can easily fall out of your natural routine. As long as you manage your time well, it's fun.

Q. 66 on this Friday. Justin, after Thursday's round you were pleased with the score but maybe not in how you played.
How did it all shakedown for you in the 2nd Round?

JUSTIN ROSE: Much cleaner mentally today. I thought we did a pretty good job. We were talking about the little wind. What there was, two, three, four, five mile an hour and swirling. Today it was a really good round of golf.

Kept a clean sheet but I think took care of all the par-5s as well. Very rare you don't make a 5 in a day. Pleased with that. Driving the ball well. Felt my short game is sharp. One area to look out and get through the weekend is my iron play.

Q. When you see improvement from Thursday to Friday, then head to the weekend with a chance to win, what does that do for you psychologically?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's always good. You want to trend during the week. You kind of feel like you're getting stronger each day and it's a bit -- it's a long week, 72 hole golf is long. You're going to have your spells where things go well and don't go well. You have to ride the storm.

That happens to me on Thursday, got through it well. It would have been much worse than that. You look back and say I hung in well Thursday and that set-up the week. Halfway point. No point to get too far ahead. Get to the first tee.

Q. Pretty flawless round, hitting the ball for you do you think, 13 fairways, goodness, the greens?
JUSTIN ROSE: I didn't really know the stats today. I felt like very sort of a committed round and say some clinical. Absolutely. To go sort of I guess the only -- if I hit 13 fairways the only one I missed was on the par 5 12th hole, a good miss.

Kind of realized the right rough there is much better than the left bunker and such a narrow fairway essentially that was almost where I was looking or the side to miss anyway. I've certainly been driving the ball well which set-up a good round.

The putting felt pretty good. I felt like I could have made more putts. I hit some good putts that didn't go in. I haven't had the hot run on the greens yet. I've been solid. The short game has been sharp. That's all the good stuff that happened today and just going to be cleaner with the irons. Look at a few more pins, potentially, and keep trying to find the birdies on the weekend.

Q. What kind of goes through your head and start the day and look up and see where Jason is? What's the difficulty of that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, you know what, I have my own problems and things to worry about without making him an extra problem. To be honest with you, I was aware that he played well and -- I looked back and it didn't really phase me or affect my round of golf.

You know, all day I knew I was behind, knew I was gaining ground and working my way into a great position starting the weekend. At no point I did ever feel I was pressing.

Q. Justin, you had an unconventional preparation for this week, actually taking the time off. Is there a lesson to be learned there?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, unconventional few weeks, flu and backs and foot and all sorts of things have been kind of going on, really.

Q. You had the back at Doral, right?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, exactly. Still trying to clean that up a hundred percent. Yeah, I think that's not -- it's a lesson to know that you can win many ways or you can play well many ways and you got to be resilient and persistent.

You can't feel like if you're not in your comfort zone you can't play well. You got to play outside of your comfort zone as well.

That's what I tell myself and it's not a strategy if it works for a week or so. It's not a long-term strategy. You can't say I'm never playing a practice round again. That's got to catch up with you. It's good to know in the short-term you can still continue to perform.

Q. What are your thoughts about the grouping, you, Henrik, Jason because of the weather --
JUSTIN ROSE: Three balls, right? I didn't realize that. Yeah, of course. Fantastic. It's going to be fun. I know all those guys well especially my caddy and Stenson's caddy get along very well.

Henrik and I got along well at the Ryder Cup. Have a good chemistry, yes.

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