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August 13, 2016

Justin Rose

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

GORDON SIMPSON: Justin, fantastic play today, a round of 65, 12‑under par, and as they say in the Olympics, you're in the Gold Medal position. How does that feel.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it feels great. Obviously I felt like today was an important day. There were a lot of players obviously in contention after yesterday I felt, and I felt like today could be a day to separate or at least keep some momentum and not give yourself too much work to do tomorrow.
Obviously this tournament has been very, very special and very, very different for all of us, and like you say, you're always very aware of you're in the gold position and the silver and bronze position and after that, it doesn't mean a whole lot.
I think the way it's all worked out going into tomorrow with me at 12, Henrik at 11 and Marcus at 9 and I next is at 6; that little bit of separation makes the final three‑ball a lot of fun to be a part of, and that's just the position I wanted to be in going into tomorrow.
In terms of the one‑shot lead, you know, I don't really read too much into that too many. It's like all the other sports; you work really hard to get into the final, and one once‑‑ tomorrow is about a great performance tomorrow and bringing your best golf when you need it. I have the opportunity and tomorrow is going to be fun.

Q. Do you expect to see a lot of players going for broke tomorrow, taking a few more risks to get into the medal position?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for sure. I'm sure someone will make a run at some point. But yeah, the guys at 6 and 5 and 4 and 3‑under, they are probably thinking if I can go out and shoot 7‑ or 8‑under par tomorrow, who knows what can happen.
Because of that, they are going to probably be aggressive. It's the kind of golf course that lends itself to that, too. Depending on the weather; I think obviously this wind was quite tricky today and some of the holes played incredibly long.
I felt like could you make some birdies and eagles starting out the round, but there wasn't much on offer after you turned No. 10. 10 through 15 were playing very, very tough. I think depends on the weather a little bit tomorrow. But obviously they are going to be trying.

Q. How would you describe the atmosphere out there, more like a major or a Ryder Cup or something unique?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think unique, it's more like a Ryder Cup than a major, but I would say it's more unique than either of those two. I couldn't pigeonhole it into either category to be honest with you, and that's been my whole approach to the Olympic Games is that you can't compare it to anything else.
I think it's probably lived up to my expectations out there. I feel like the crowd have been a lot of fun to play in front of. There's been a lot of goodwill for all of the players from all different nationalities, but at the same time you have your pockets of fans that are really cheering for you. Yeah, it's been a fun crowd to be a part of.
Yeah, I was really surprised at the number of people out there today. I thought it was a very lively and buoyant atmosphere out there. I thought day one was a good crowd. I thought day two as a little quiet. Day three, I was very surprised to see the amount of people out there. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be well supported, as well.

Q. Most of you guys seem to like the course. What do you dislike?
JUSTIN ROSE: That's a tough question. I don't dislike anything. I think it's the easiest job in the world to critique a golf course once it's been built. It doesn't take much for one of the pitches off the side of the green to be a little too severe, for example. There's always some refining that can be done.
But I think Gil's done a great job with the design of this golf course; knowing what the elements can bring in here. We've seen pretty heavy winds this week. Any time you have a world‑class field and the lead is 12‑, 11‑under par, and guys in contention are 6‑under, it does show that it's a good test of golf.
But yet, it's wide enough for the average player to go out and have a good time. So I think he's done a good job of balancing the two.

Q. Obviously playing with Henrik tomorrow, very successful Ryder Cup partnership at Gleneagles; is that going to be a factor tomorrow? And also, what would it mean to wina medal?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, playing with Henrik will be great tomorrow. He's obviously a good friend of mine. I think there's a lot of mutual respect between the two of us, and quite clearly we're both wanting the same thing tomorrow. We'll just go about our business as we do and congratulate whoever wins obviously. But we're going to go out and give it 100 per cent.
But Fooch and Gareth get along really well. Me and Henrik get along really well. I'm sure there will be some chitchat off the ball and we'll have a great day, and we'll give it 100 per cent obviously.
Projecting forward to what it's going to feel like, I don't know, probably no point in getting that far ahead. There's a lot of golf ahead and you're going to have to come out and play a strong round, so I'm just focusing on that.

Q. What are you doing well this week, and what's held you back from wining this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think the only thing that's held me back really from winning this year has been injury. It's been a little bit of a slow year for me. I haven't been able to be up to my normal speed in terms of practice. Probably since Doral I've been struggling to be honest with you. It's nice to be through that.
I felt like my game's been close for some time. I can't pinpoint exactly what I've been doing different this week. I'm probably putting just a touch better. I'm definitely driving the ball well. Iron play could probably still improve. But you know, for the most part, I'm probably just managing my game well this week.
It started back in Doral and flared up after THE PLAYERS Championship and just been doing a lot of diligent rehab and what have you to get fit and ready. I got myself back for the U.S. Open. But still improving week on week, probably up until now.
So I'm certainly out of pain and all that type of stuff, but just getting everything fully up 100 per cent and running again. I feel good.

Q. Can you give us the details of the eagle?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, No. 3 today, they put the tee a little forward. It was like 280 yards to the front and we were playing into quite a heavy winds. I hit a good drive up there about 15 yards short of the green and pitched in, which was nice. The fifth hole was a par 5, playing downbreeze with driver, 7‑iron to about 15 feet and made a putt there.

Q. May be impossible to answer, but different from a major, if you find yourself right there with three holes to play, can you imagine the difference it might be where in a major, at worst, you have seven months to wait and here you have four years; do you think that might play into it at all?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's going to be tough for sure. I think that will be a factor in your mind at some point tomorrow. But it's going to be the same for Henrik and it's going to be the same for Marcus and it's going to be the same for whoever else gets himself into contention.
I feel like I'll do a good job of dealing with that when the time comes, and I think that's what top‑level sport is all about; is if you can do that better than the next guy, you feel like you have an advantage. Doesn't mean it's easy.

Q. What will you tell your friends the first time you see them back home?
JUSTIN ROSE: I will just tell them that I've had a great time. I've had a positive experience. I've had fun. I think it's been a great tournament, very unique to anything else. You know, I feel that it's one that you should be able to make room for once every four years in your schedule. It's not really a scheduling thing for me. It's an opportunity and one that I've really enjoyed taking.

Q. Do you feel there's a little bit of pressure off you with given a one‑shot lead and your chances at a podium?
JUSTIN ROSE: Do you know what, no, because when you're in the situation, you're looking at the shiniest medal possible, and that will be a Plan C at the very, very end, but that doesn't come into the equation right now. Just overnight, really the way I'm looking at it is the groundwork has been laid, great three days of golf, presents me tomorrow with an opportunity to have a great day. That's as far as I'm looking ahead.

Q. What have been your favourite moments this week away from the golf course?
JUSTIN ROSE: Opening Ceremony, walking out. That was an amazing experience. The energy of that was incredible.
Being in the Olympic Village, meeting the other athletes. Just being around like‑minded people, people who train hard, work hard, who are disciplined, who obviously enjoy what they do.
You know, I find often‑‑ sometimes I prefer learning from other sports and other athletes than I do golfers for some reason. Just you can always find one or two things that you can relate to and that you can implement out on the golf course.

Q. Can you share what one of those might be?
JUSTIN ROSE: For example, gymnasts, that was quite eye‑opening to see how incredibly difficult the moves are that they have to pull off. And obviously they have literally their body on the line if something goes wrong; yet, the level of distraction around them is incredible. It kind of made me realise that we could do a better job, or I could do a better job, of sort of tunnelling in and forgetting some of the distractions that can be out there on the golf course. That's one that I tried to use this week.

Q. Would second place be less disappointing than second place in a major because you would have a medal?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, I don't even want to go there right now to be honest with you (laughter). But when it's all said and done, maybe. I think that maybe that's disappointing. Maybe six, eight months, a year down the line, two years down the line. But in this position right now, we may as well look forward to the best opportunity. But I think probably, yes.

Q. Going back to your comments about other athletes this week, has it been humbling to see the discipline and focus they go through for one shot?
JUSTIN ROSE: One hundred per cent. You can just see the level of sacrifice probably that so many athletes make leading up to this. You can only imagine the amount of pain they go through in the gym to push themselves to be 100 per cent fit and ready for this particular tournament. I think it is different from our sport. You can admire that. You can only admire that.
I think for them to then have some times in some sports a couple of seconds to execute is incredible. It can be over so quickly for them, as well. You know, one slip or one wrong move when you tumble or whatever it might be; it could be the end of your Olympic Gold hopes, I suppose.
Whereas in golf, obviously we have a similar thing. You can make a double or a triple or whatever it may be, but you sometimes have a feeling that you can recover; you have time to recover. Whereas some of the mistakes in other sports seem to be irreparable damage. You can only admire, really, what they have to go through in order to get there and how disciplined and how much they have to bring it on the night.
GORDON SIMPSON: Good luck with your medal quest tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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