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August 15, 2016

Peter Dawson

Justin Rose

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

PETER DAWSON: We had one of the best golf events I've ever been involved with the last few days on many levels, given all of the history of getting golf into the Olympics, getting the golf course built, and so on, we thought the spirit in which it was played, the intensity of the competition and the size of the crowds, just the general good, fun atmosphere, was unique.
As an international organisation, you might say that having a Great Britain winner is an added bonus. Well done, Justin, fantastic.
I think it's done golf a great deal of good. Wonderful for our sport, and the IOC members that I have spoken to, they are all very, very complimentary indeed of the whole four days, and in particular the final day. So it's been great for golf and an absolute privilege to be here.
To have Justin as Olympic Champion, Gold Medalist, is really good. He's always been a great supporter of Olympic golf, and spoke in favour of it, in particular. And our congratulations, too, to the whole field of course, and Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar, as well.
So we look forward to a strong women's event this week starting on Wednesday, finishing on Saturday. Excellent field. All the top players are here. Once again, if you look at the draw for the women's event, we'll be starting off with one of the Brazilian players, Miriam Nagl, teeing off first.
Delighted to say Suzann Pettersen is in the field. She came and helped us with the Olympic bid back in Copenhagen seven years ago. Remarkably, I think there are three amateurs in the field, which is worthy of note, Leona Maguire of Ireland, Albane Valenzuela from Switzerland and Tiffany Chan from Hong Kong; they are all amateurs and they have played their way into the event.
So we are looking forward to an excellent women's event, maybe even better than the men's, who knows. All in all, it's been a wonderful week so far for us and we look forward to the coming week also.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Justin, it was obviously a very special day yesterday. Can you just take us through your thoughts on yesterday in particular, but also on your Olympic experience?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure. So obviously I try to boil yesterday down to the fact that it was the final round, and obviously being at the Olympics, you've watched many other sports, and you sort of realise that many athletes do the hard work of getting through the heats and they get themselves into position in a final where they have to bring their best game.
That was the mentality I went into yesterday with. It was a very easy mentality standing alongside Henrik Stenson and a world‑class field. I knew it was going to be a challenge and knew I had to bring out the best level of golf I could given the situation. This has been a target of mine for a long time, and given‑‑ it's been something that's been on the horizon for me for quite a while. And for everything to come together for me yesterday was incredibly exciting.
And the Olympic experience as a whole has exceeded all of my expectations. I think it's been just so wonderful on so many different levels. I think that the camaraderie amongst the players, amongst the wider Team GB has been something I've really, really enjoyed, getting to share and swapping stories with other athletes; learning a bit more about other sports; identifying what makes them great, trying to put a little bit of that into my own sport.
I just think for me, what was hardening was hearing comments from guys who really weren't in contention, who spoke positively, about it being one of the best golfing weeks of their lives says it all.
Obviously winning the Gold Medal is an incredible experience, but for me it was deeper than just the podium; it was the wonderful spirit here in Rio, which I think speaks to the bigger picture of what a success it's been.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the celebrations last night and how it's changed your travel plans and missing a game of football tonight, I believe.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's been a great problem to have, but yeah, I missed my flight home last night. I was supposed to be going to Stamford Bridge this afternoon or this evening with my little boy, Leo, who I've converted him to a Chelsea fan.
Obviously I'm unfortunately going to miss that but I'm going to make it up to him. He was so excited‑‑ actually I've never seen my little boy in tears, might start crying myself. I've never seen it resonate so much with him. He's seven. He's just beginning to understand what sport is all about.
He received a medal for a Winter Olympic soccer football camp this past week. And he got a medal and he said to me: "I've got my medal, now it's time for you to get yours." He was actually crying on the phone, I've never seen that before, and that was very, very special.
I think that's what I've noticed; my phone has been on fire the last sort of 24 hours or however long it's been. It seems to have resonated with a much wider audience, and that's what we take away from this week; it's not just golf fans that are interested in this, sports fans but a nation as a whole really seemed to get behind you, and that's what's made it so incredible.

Q. You're obviously an advocate of Olympic golf. Do you think what happened last week and what you've achieved will persuade those who didn't come this week, may be persuaded to come to Tokyo?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think so. All the guys that missed out probably made their decision for good reason but I think they are going to sit back and realise what a successful event this was, and all great competitors, they are all hungry competitors.
To be maybe sitting at home and watching other guys get the glory, they are going to want that. That's what makes them great, is they want experiences like this. They are going to have to wait four years, and that's a big deal and that's what makes this special. It doesn't just come around next week and they'll have another go.
It's an opportunity to comes around so rarely and I think that I'm certainly happy that it's sort of fallen on my plate, so to speak. I certainly targeted it, went after it, and therefore, very proud of it, but it is an opportunity that doesn't come around and hopefully they will take that opportunity in 2020.
PETER DAWSON: Hard to put it any better than Justin just has, really. I know if I had missed this, I would have regretted it, that's for sure.
You know, I think I'd be surprised if next time around, we don't get a full turnout. I think what these players have witnessed in television and here in Rio made them realise they have missed out.

Q. Have you got any messages from Rory?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I did get one from Rory, yeah, absolutely. He was very, very proud and he said he was pulling for me. He said basically he could see how much it meant to me and congratulations.
Yeah, he was very complimentary, so I guess he watched ... (laughter) but he was very, very complimentary, and obviously he made a point that he really wanted golf to succeed as an Olympic sport. He has his own personal opinions on it that are very personal to him and that's fine, but as a whole, he's very, very much behind golf succeeding in the Olympics. Like I said, he was very, very complimentary.

Q. You mentioned it resonated with a wider audience. Could you share some of the texts you got from people outside golf?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, just basically people saying to me, that their kids, for example, have never been into golf before, I think could identify with the sport a lot more becauseof what it represented. It represented a Gold Medal.
And given all of the athletics and the other sports they have watched and what they have seen athletes achieved. I think it brought golf into a context that they could understand. And they may not know what it's all about, and I think the fact that it came down to the final hole, it's a hard‑fought thing to win a Gold Medal or to win any tournament.
I think it resonates with a younger audience from that point of view and brings golf certainly into the sports world, and even more so a very patrioticnation. Yeah, I had about three or four texts that were along that theme‑‑ sort of the deeper, darker parts of your phone (laughter).

Q. However you would have graded your season up to this point, did what happened yesterday change it if you look back at this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. We had a discussion last night, and I'm very proud of the fact that I've won every year on the PGA TOUR since 2010, and I'm not sure this counts as an official win on the Tour, but for me, this is winning a tournament and it's winning a huge tournament.
It's a huge win for me. It's made my season. It's made my year. It's made my next four years‑‑ I'll be bragging away for quite a while. We're certainly going to have some fun with it on the range. But yeah, it's turned the whole season around. I know that my game has been good, and I think I haven't quite been able to get to my best level for a few of the issues, injury, and what‑have‑you, so it's been really a hard‑fought battle to get back to this point, but I've worked hard.

Q. Did it hit you more on the podium or more the following day?
JUSTIN ROSE: That's a great question, I think the podium was a surreal experience. It was almost like you were watching yourself doing it. It's an occasion that I had witnessed a few times this week in other sports, and then to actually be walking through it, living it, was kind of a little bit surreal, like I said.
But humbling, as well. That's the moment‑‑ especially the National Anthem, I've never experienced that moment in sport really. That made it very, very special. But it hit home, as well, with Leo, for sure. The fact that it just meant something to him. It meant something a lot more to him for some reason. I can't explain, it's not something that I pushed on him.
I think it's just the fact that the Olympics is just an event that takes over the world really for a few weeks. You can't sort of ignore it, on the media, TV, it's everywhere. It's on in the house and the kids have been watching gymnastics, the cute little Facebook posts of my daughter watching the gymnastics, their eyes are popping out of heir head watching people do tumbles and jumps.

Q. As a golfer who has embraced the Olympics more than any other, how was it to be part of an amazing day for British sport? Have you spoke to Andy?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I did, I got to watch about the last two games of Andy's match and both players looked absolutely exhausted, like they had put their heart and soul into it. And in the end, you almost couldn't tell who won and who lost. They both left just everything on the court. That was incredible‑‑ bumped into Andy at the athlete's village last night and he said he watched my last hole before he went on to the court, so it was cool that I was able to watch his last game. We sat in a row of seats at the Opening Ceremony and could chat, and it was quite cool to fast forward ten days and see how the Olympic Gold‑‑ Max, the double win in the gold, as well, and Jason with the cycling. Being part of that Sunday, five Gold Medals, is something I'm just very, very proud of.

Q. Having slugged it out over 72 holes with Henrik, Ryder Cup looming large, would it be fair to say you'd prefer to play with him than against him?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely be nice to be on the right side of Henrik, for sure. He's a big, strong lad for a start. His golf is obviously absolutely impeccable and he's a great competitor. I think he's obviously a huge addition to the team. He's a player that we're going to rely upon for sure.
And yeah, obviously we're both very much‑‑ we've got one eye on The Ryder Cup. I think we are both trying to figure out how to stay as fresh as we can for The Ryder Cup. We might both have to play big roles on the team at some point, so yeah, it's just about trying to bring our best once again when we need it. He's a player you want on your side, for sure.

Q. How much do you feel that yourself and your colleagues and PGA of America and the R&A and everyone cooperated on this thing proved to the naysayers and doubters and a few IOC members that were critical, and what can be improved for the ladies tournament starting on Wednesday?
PETER DAWSON: As well, I don't think we were here to win points over anyone. I think we were all confident from what so many nations said to us; that this was very important for golf, and so we put our heart and soul into it, and it was gratifying that on so many levels we had a very successful four days leading up to Justin's victory yesterday. I think we did some good for the game, and we are going to have that again Wednesday to Saturday this week when the women play.
In terms of what can we do better, there are all details that we can improve. But I don't think we'll improve the spirit and the enjoyment that people extracted from the last four days, it's been a very special part of this, and that's what I'll remember. Let's do it again come Wednesday through Saturday.

Q. You mentioned the impact the Olympics has on young kids and the way they get wrapped up in it. I'm just wondering, who were some of your Olympic heros and how does it feel to be among them?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I guess the one, a few weeks agoI was saying ‑‑ I used to call him Olympic Crispy, the sprinter, Linford Christie. But obviously I was a young kid at the time, but that was the name that I thought it was his name, that was the name I gave him, Olympic Crispy. Obviously those are my images from childhood. Obviously identifying with the fastest men and women on earth, the longest jumpers, just the athleticism was mind‑blowing, gymnasts, watching them up close, gave me an appreciation for what they did as a youngster, too.
But also, what I took away from the gymnastics was the focus really they had, not just their physical abilities but their mental abilities with the distractions all around them and they focused, that was something I definitely tried to bring to the golf course this week.

Q. How much is the course going to be used after the tournament?
PETER DAWSON: What's going to be happening is the course is being leased to the Brazilian Golf Federation. I already know that one or two tournaments are planned here coming up. We have quite a number of individual bookings.
But the facility is going to be open to the public and it's going to have an academy attached to it, and I'm really hoping that it's going to be a center for global golfers in this Rio area to start the game and to develop their skills. The two courses here in Rio I believe are both private clubs, and this is the first public facility that will be available to help grow the game.
JUSTIN ROSE: I think Gil Hanse did a great job. His brief obviously was to build a challenging course, but this course needs to go on and be a friendly golf course where people can enjoy the game of golf. The type of grasses he used I feel are very, very friendly and very playable. The Zeon Zoysia, the type of grass in the fairways, is a fun grass to play off, and the paspalum on the greens I think is a good choice, never gets ridiculously fast. So I think those are really good choices.
And the fact there is so much room out there to play, there's a lot of turf out there. Gil obviously realised the wind can blow here as it did a couple of days for us. It was a fun course to play in the wind. It's a course that's quite forgiving, as well. You might not necessarily score well but you're not going to lose golf shots. I think that's a lot of fun. I think he did a great job on the one hand on the Olympics and also on the future of the golf course.
PETER DAWSON: The golf course is top level competition and will be enjoyable to play going forward.

Q. What's the process going forward for beyond 2020? Is there a formal process? Do you have to petition the IOC? What do you have to do?
PETER DAWSON: The IOC in the coming months and culminating as I understand it, the IOC session Lima, Peru, I believe in next September 2017, are going to be reviewing the whole series of Olympic events. And golf is not to be singled out; it's every sport that's going to be part of the Olympic Programme in 2024 and beyond.
Obviously what's happened here at Rio, in many ways, that will be measured and will be part of that evaluation process. Don't know if as an International Federation we'll be getting a lot of questions, and we'll be putting golf's best foot forward for future inclusion.

Q. Justin, I remember how much you relished your major championship breakthrough, how does this compare?
JUSTIN ROSE: I said before that I don't really want to compare them. I think they should live in separate columns and different worlds. Obviously major championships right now have all the history. But I feel like this was an opportunity not to be missed. I feel like it resonated far wider than maybe my U.S. Open victory. They have both been incredibly special in terms of how they feel.
I think this really comes across to me as a huge opportunity; the fact that it's different, the whole vibe on the golf course was different. It was a lot more patriotic, and having an opportunity to represent your country, I think that's what makes it very special.
To feel like I contributed to something that as a nation can be proud of‑‑ it's amazing to add to the medal count. I think every time I see a Gold Medal go up or any medal go up on my app, I feel very proud for the team. That's what makes it different and special.

Q. We're all kind of new at this Olympic thing here, but the good news is you don't have to turn this back in to Tokyo in 2020. What do you do with it in the meantime? For all the stories of what a player does with a green jacket, how often will you take it out and what do you do for the next four years?
JUSTIN ROSE: We talked about how do you display it; what do I do with it; where do I use it. I think it's just going to be certainly a private place. It's going to sit right there in the most prominent place, next to the U.S. Open trophy. Maybe I'll get a little mannequin with a podium jacket or a little case for it.
It's definitely a lot easier to travel with than a trophy, so it will probably be slipped in the hand luggage a lot easier. Definitely going to let as many people wear it as they want and share it with friends and family. Definitely it's a special item, it really is.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Congratulations again, thanks for joining us.

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