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December 7, 2016

Justin Rose

Fanling, Hong Kong

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Can you give us an update on your injury?

JUSTIN ROSE: It was disappointing last week to be honest with you. I spent the last six or seven weeks at home, really getting fit and strong and working on my game with the intention of starting a new season on the front foot.

It was one of those unfortunate, let's call it, life injuries, where you move the wrong way. You know, you've got to pick something up awkwardly and just flared up, sort of like muscle spasm or something in my back. I think given maybe the season, some of the disc issues I had in May, the back has tightened up pretty hard because of that.

But done everything I can the last few days to do everything I can to defend here. Disappointed to pull out of the Hero, especially being my home course. I worked very hard leading up to it, but then obviously worked very hard just to get to the tee there on Thursday but felt like I was unable to continue; and to continue would certainly jeopardise this tournament, as well. Making good progress. The journey over here seemed to go well and looking forward to tomorrow.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Quick memories of last year and what it meant to win.

JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously great memories of this tournament last year. This is really one of my favourite tournaments on The European Tour. It's certainly one of my favourite cities to visit. It's a course I haven't played particularly well until last year which gave me extra satisfaction of being able to win it. I had a great tussle with Lucas Bjerregaard really the whole of Sunday, and we separated ourselves from the field, which is a fun match play sort of environment for us.

The 18th hole here at Fanling is such a great little golf hole and to be able to win on it, the tournament's really nicely setup there on the last hole. It just felt like a really, really fun tournament to win, and it was a bit of a -- I think having missed the cut my previous try around here, it was like a nice bit of revenge on this week. Fooch and I worked really hard with our game plan and I think this is a course that does take some learning and we did a good job of that last year.

Q. Just some news breaking last night that Thomas is going to be Ryder Cup Captain. Your initial reaction and thoughts?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I wasn't surprised that Thomas got it. I think that Thomas has always been at the epicenter really of everything that goes on on The European Tour. He's been on the board of the players' committee for a long time, and decision making and policy on Tour, he's always kind of front and center of.

So I think it will be a role that suits him. He's obviously very current in terms of his game. He's going to be on Tour a lot. He's going to have a very hands-on approach with the players. He's been involved obviously in the last few Ryder Cups as a vice captain and I think you probably learn more about being a captain as a vice captain then you do playing, there's a lot more backroom chat that goes on that the players don't concern himself with. I'm sure he's picked up a lot of tips along the way, and he'll certainly be a very qualified captain.

Q. Is it hard to snap back into competitive mode?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've been working hard to be honest with you for seven weeks. I've been really excited about what I've seen in my game in practice. It certainly hasn't been seven weeks R&R. It's been seven weeks at home, seven weeks dropping the kids at school, seven weeks parenting, which is pretty difficult.

But the point is, yeah, last week was a mishap for sure but I feel good about things in general. I feel optimistic about next engineer. Certainly I feel motivated and I feel hungry.

In terms of this week, sure, it's not ideal to come in here slightly undercooked preparation-wise but I'm hoping that the fact that I've been diligent and careful the last few days is going to allow me to be competitive for all four days.

You know, you never really forget how to compete. So once Thursday starts, hopefully the system gets up and running. This is a golf course I've played enough now to be able to see it blind this week, so to speak. I know my game plan and I know my strategy. I have good memories on which to draw. Right now, that's as positive as I can be, but I'm looking forward to the week.

Q. I'd just like to return to The Ryder Cup. The next contest will be in Paris. I gather Tony Jacklin has raised some concerns about the qualification and whether the European captain is able to pick the 12 best players, because people like Paul Casey were not eligible because they were not a Member of The European Tour. Is that a problem, do you think?
JUSTIN ROSE: It hasn't been a problem -- certainly not a problem because if you look at the record, obviously the last 20 years, we've done incredibly well. I think this last Ryder Cup around, it was kind of a slight changing of the guard. We had six rookies.

The American Team didn't have -- maybe had one rookie. It was just timing; and they were an incredibly hungry team, and I think we were up against it this year. We were just maybe up against a better team this year.

In terms of crowd support, I don't think that the Americans will receive the same type of -- the support that we get is incredibly positive. But I don't think that it -- how do I put it, it will be easier for them probably in France than maybe it was for us in Hazeltine, I don't know. We shall see.

But in terms of -- I'm only really going off Gleneagles, because that's the only really home Ryder Cup I've played. I've played three away and I've played one at home and I actually really enjoyed playing them away, because the environment of trying to keep a crowd quiet is a lot of fun.

But I think that Team USA and everybody that goes with it and the crowd, they really, really, really wanted this one, and it was definitely an amped up crowd. I think it was just their time, time to win one to be honest with you. We did everything we could. I think the team did a good job of even being remotely competitive on Sunday, because after losing their first session 4-0, we were really up against it. And just to have half a chance going into Sunday, I thought was a pretty monumental effort for our team, and we fought as hard as we could.

But I just think this team around, they were a team that were pretty tough to beat. I think in France, the shoe is now on our foot in terms of, I think we're the hungry ones now. Certainly I'm speaking for myself. I certainly want to get back to winning ways in Paris.

I think all the rookies that we were able to blood this year around are going to find it a much more pleasant and enjoyable experience playing at home, and they are going to have the experience of what The Ryder Cup is all about. I think we are going to reap the rewards of what happened with The Ryder Cup this year, next year, in two years, in 2018.

Q. Did you at any point think to pull out of the tournament, and what part of your game gets affected most by your back injury?
JUSTIN ROSE: Sure, I've been worried about my participation the last few days. That's why I've been doing everything in my power to be ready to be fit to be here. Making the trip was 50/50 at one point last week. But obviously I wanted to be here as best I could, and I'm trying to get to the first tee tomorrow in as best condition as I can be.

All aspects of your game get affected, because obviously it's a preparation thing. I haven't been able to put as much time in on any part of my game as I would have. You'd have to probably say driving, where there's the most amount of speed that's involved.

But this is where this is a good golf course for me from that point of view, because there's a lot of irons that could be played off the tee, and being a shorter golf course, length is not a premium as it is on some other courses. I'm hoping that will work in my favour.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Many thanks for joining us. Good luck this week.

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