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December 8, 2016

Justin Rose

Fanling, Hong Kong

Q. How do you rate that performance?
JUSTIN ROSE: I was pretty happy with that to be honest. I felt good with my body out there. I felt like it hit a lot of good golf shots. Just really struggled on the greens. I thought they were tricky this afternoon. I didn't quite have the speed.

Not having played a practice round, some of the putts look a lot quicker than maybe they putted, and this afternoon the greens can get pretty grainy. I was having a hard time picking my reads on the back nine, under-read a couple short putts.

And then had another short one at hole 8 where I over-read it. Probably overcompensated for the previous first two putts. I was having a hard time picking my read and putting the right speed on it. But for the most part, felt like I hit a lot of solid shots out there and positive going into tomorrow.

Q. You've not played much competitive golf since The Ryder Cup. What's the difficulty having that length of time off? What do you find most difficult to pick up back on the golf course?
JUSTIN ROSE: Just taking a chance, being a bit more ruthless out there. I felt like I had an opportunity to shoot probably a pretty good score. If I just look at the back nine, I feel like I should have really posted maybe 2- or 3-under par really today. I let a few get away but that's probably the sharpness and hopefully I can get stronger as the week goes on.

Q. How's the back?
JUSTIN ROSE: Good. Worked really hard the last few weeks. Have to thank all the time around me that work really hard. Justin Buckthorp back home has done so much all year to keep me fit and keep me going and I'm really excited for what next year holds.

Hong Kong, this is a great tournament for me last year. Had so much fun and it's one of my favourite cities in the world and to come back here with the Olympic Gold -- actually I've been everywhere with the Olympic Gold, so coming back here is definitely a treat with it. People just enjoy seeing it. It's definitely one of those iconic things that people enjoy having a photograph with and I'm certainly milking it.

Q. You seem to be moving a bit stiff at the start, but did you loosen up as it went on?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think the worst thing for me is like picking the ball out of the hole. I think that's why I wasn't holing putts was because I was scared to pick it up out of the hole.

Swinging-wise I felt fine to be honest with you. I came off today a lot better shape than I did the first round of the Hero last week.

So I feel optimistic that I'm through the worse of it and I can get better and stronger and looser every single day and played quite well today in spells and hit some nice iron shots at times.

But coming into today I was very under-prepared in terms of the tournament and didn't have a clue of the speed of the greens today; a couple of 3-putts because of that. Feel like one round under my belt now, hopefully I can build on it and get better each day.

Q. Is it a case where you feel you can get better as the week goes on?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, and I've also come off seven weeks off, too. I'm pretty rusty. So from that point of view, yes, I hopefully can get better each day. I'm still obviously in the tournament. Not the ideal start today but I think the scores this afternoon were a little tougher than this morning. The greens were tricky I found. I don't think they putt quite as well as they do in the morning. I feel like if we can wake up and get going in the morning, shoot something in the mid 60s, we can be right there come the weekend.

Q. Do you have a lengthy regime you'll go through tonight?
JUSTIN ROSE: Probably a ice. Just lie on some ice, which is pretty standard. But yeah, tomorrow morning, just give myself plenty of time. It's quite a long car journey in the morning and get here with plenty of time and should be no problem. I feel like I'm through the worst of it and getting better every day.

Q. Almost a spectacular hole on the 13th, bounced off the flag.
JUSTIN ROSE: 230-something yards it was. I've never had an albatross over me. That's the only thing my caddie has over me in our golfing careers. He's had an albatross and I haven't. I think he's quite glad that it hit the flag and stayed up to be honest.

Q. Given your ailments, how much satisfaction is there after a round like this?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it was really fun to get back out on the golf course to be honest with you. All week long I've been preparing to get to the first tee and I got to the first tee in good shape and felt positive and good.

I for the most part swung the club well and hit the ball half decent, anyway. Really felt that what let me down today was more the putting, and not so much I was hitting bad putts. It was more, didn't really have a clue with the speed of the greens. They look quicker than they are in certain spots, and I think that was just not having played a practice round this week is what hurt me.

But really looking forward to getting out there tomorrow morning and hopefully having fresh greens and play well and shoot something to get me back in the tournament.

Q. You were optimistic, you're sounding that way. Physically getting better and better?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've gotten better and better the last few days. I think I've walked off the golf course today feeling as sharp as when I started my round. So that's really, really encouraging.

Last week at the Hero I kind of got myself to the first tee just about but by the time I got to the 18th hole, I definitely was not feeling my best. Whereas today I came off feeling great.

Q. Tell us about the eagle?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think it hit the pin and finished about eight, nine inches away. I've never had an albatross. That's one thing I'm still waiting for and that was obviously pretty close to it. I think Fooch was quite happy it stayed out because he has had an albatross and it's the one thing he holds over me to this day comparing our golf careers to one another.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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