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April 6, 2017

Justin Rose

Augusta, Georgia

Q. Your thoughts on getting in under par on a day like today.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, you beat the golf course today, you can be pretty proud of yourself. It was certainly very, very tough out there. I haven't played this course in a heavy wind like this before, or certainly nothing this heavy. And there's no respite out there. Even simple tap‑ins aren't simple. I found that was the toughest thing for me.
The first 12 holes I didn't miss a shot tee to green, but just making putts I found incredibly difficult. When the greens are this fast, the wind has a significant affect on them.
I mean, the third hole, for example, had a putt that was just left‑to‑right, across the slope, and a gust of wind hit it mid putt and then it caught like a little down slope four foot past the hole and then went 10 feet by.
So little things like that, they can unnerve you early in your round, but to me, I managed to get the putting going a little bit and made some good putts around the turn. But, yeah, everything was a challenge today.

Q. When you're battling like that, psychologically, like that birdie on the last is a nice little boost, isn't it?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, obviously, I bogeyed 16, 17 and disappointing to throw away a good round, but I knew it was a good round.
So I was playing the 18th hole, still in good spirits, and I realized that if I could make a birdie, I was tying the low score of the day posted in the clubhouse. So I knew I was right there. Obviously Will McGirt just posted 3‑under, but it's tough to finish off these rounds out here.

Q. You mentioned putting earlier. I was following you on the front nine and you must have missed four birdie putts from 10 feet. Do you feel like that was a missed opportunity?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, there was opportunities that I could have turned in 6‑under, no doubt. I played great golf. But they're hard. I hit my line on ‑‑ I missed a short one on the first. Which was me. I tried to hit it straight in, I pushed it a bit and it broke. It was just a poor putt. So that kind of reminded me that I had to commit to everything out there today.
The rest of the putts, to be honest with you, I think my back swing's a little long on my short putts, which it's then hard to release the putter. So I think I just need to tighten up my stroke a little bit, shorten up the stroke, so I can be a little more positive through impact.

Q. What exactly were you focusing on today with Sean? Was it iron play?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not more than usual, to be honest with you, but, yeah, we have been working on my iron play, that's been the one area that I've been trying to sharpen up all year and obviously, in these conditions, you need to be spot on.
We had the Trackman out, just trying to gauge how much impact the wind was having on the ball, how much it was taking off into the breeze, so just getting a gauge on things. But we're not working on too much heavy lifting, it's more just tinkering with it.

Q. Three English guys under par at the minute.
JUSTIN ROSE: Did Casey shoot under par?

Q. He was even. Talk about the strength of English golf?
JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously we had good numbers coming in here. Is there's 11 of us in here playing? So obviously we have pretty good odds of getting a couple of us on the leaderboard, but you still got to go out and do it.
Fitzy's a great player. I mean these conditions, in the wind like this, he has a great ball flight and he's a great putter. I played with him here when he was an amateur, actually, and I was impressed with how he got around this golf course, because at the time he wasn't quite as long as he is now, but it's a course that I wouldn't have thought would suit him, but he plays it really well. So, it doesn't surprise me to see him up there on a day like today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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