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August 26, 2005

Justin Rose


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome second round leader Justin Rose. 12 under, 128 through two rounds, a new 36 hole course record here at the TPC at River Highland.

Justin, 36 holes, without a bogey, very nice golf over the last two days.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think that's what I'm probably more pleased about than 12 birdies is the fact that I've kept a bogey off my card. We all know this is a pretty tricky golf course, and as I said, that's what I'm most happy about.

TODD BUDNICK: It looks like not as much success with the driver today, but even so, 16 of 18 greens out there.

JUSTIN ROSE: I'm not sure what my fairway stats were, but I think I was in the semi, just six inches off the fairway a few times.

Yeah, I was never in a situation where I couldn't reach the green, so I felt that was what I did well today, as well. My strategy was good; I hit 3 wood and 5 wood a lot off the tee. The course firmed up quite a bit on the back nine as well, and it got pretty hot, so the ball was going a long way. I managed to pull back, leave the driver in bag and keep it in play.

TODD BUDNICK: Looking for your first PGA TOUR win, a four stroke lead heading into the weekend, talk about what you feel you need to do over the course of the next two rounds.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, obviously tomorrow I'm not going to think about winning; it's the halfway point. I think if I can just try and get something out of the course the next two days, I think the total will be pretty good. Just stick to my game plan, stick to my strategy, keep making committed swings and that's all you can do. A four shot least is uncharted territory for me and just do my best to handle that.

TODD BUDNICK: Were there any holes that seemed to give you any trouble out there, or just a nice, smooth round?

JUSTIN ROSE: I feel pretty comfortable all the way through. Last four holes, I feel like I gave myself chances today. I didn't hit particularly good putts. The greens, after the traffic and poa at the end of the day, I was a little bit mindful of leaving myself three and four feet coming back, but I felt like I could have made better putts coming in.

Q. Just after seeing it two days in a row, does you feel more comfortable on this course?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I am comfortable with it. There's a couple of holes that give me particular trouble. I feel like I've got a pretty good game plan. I'm obviously very much in control of my game right now.

Q. Why is it that you enjoy playing here?

JUSTIN ROSE: I enjoy tournaments where the winning scores isn't necessarily 20 under. I enjoyed this course last year. I played last year, which I think I'm getting into a run of the season now where I've played these events all last year. So that's the benefit I feel when you come back to a course for the second or third time, whatever it may be, so I was trying to utilize that fact.

Q. Talk about being in uncharted territory, you said at Masters

JUSTIN ROSE: No, I've been in the situation, I've had the lead and obviously I've won four times. So I'm not uncharted, it feels like I haven't been there in a while, and certainly to lead by four at the halfway stage is a little different.

Q. You have a few Top 25s but no Top 10 this is year, is that frustrating, or do you think Top 25, it's pretty good, pretty solid, or what does it take to get into the Top 10 and win?

JUSTIN ROSE: I'm mindful of that, too. It's been a slow year, which has been frustrating because I feel my game has been in good shape. I've been in situations where I've had a chance to win and I've wanted it a little too much. I've been through that and I've recognized that, and I've been working on obviously my patience level. Also been working hard on my game really, sort of cranked that up a little bit and sort of motivated myself for the second half of the season and hopefully that's what's paying off now.

Q. If someone told you you were going to have a good week inaudible?

JUSTIN ROSE: Momentum, really. My last three tournaments I feel like I've been getting better and better and just building up a little bit of confidence and that's about it, really. You know, confidence is a pretty crucial thing.

Q. When did you learn last year that's perhaps helping you so far this year?

JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I don't know; nothing, I'm having a worse year this year than last year. I need to re learn those lessons.

Q. When you played at this time in the past year, is there anything that you learned that's helping you?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, this I've learned this is a course that you have to give a little bit of respect to. That's about it, really.

As I said, the winning score history suggests the winning score is not generally that low. So I came here with, I guess, in mind a game plan that middle of the green is often good. Greens are pretty small, they get firm. There's flags out there you just don't really want to go at and I think so far that's paid off.

Q. Were you surprised at the scores with the way the course is playing, and do you watch leaderboards much?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I was aware I knew I was sort of four ahead. I knew between was 8 under before I teed off and I had a feeling that nobody else was doing anything this afternoon. So whether I'm surprised to be four ahead, yeah, I can't say, because whenever you're playing well it feels very easy. But I wasn't I think the key is not to think that I'm four ahead or worry about being four ahead. Just play and add it all up and try to adapt to the situation you find yourself in.

Q. Passing by the leaderboard tomorrow, you won't worry about if you're ahead and worry about your own game?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I know I'm not going to start the day ahead. People are going to make a run at it, there's no doubt about it. Just got to go out and play good.

Q. What have you learned form having a 36 hole lead a couple of times earlier in the year; still a long way to go?

JUSTIN ROSE: That's a fair comment, yeah, I've learned it's a million miles from winning the tournament, and I think that helped me. Obviously there's no point thinking about winning until Sunday. It can only get in your way until then.

Q. Where else did you lead beside Memorial and Augusta?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'm not sure, it feels like there's one more but I could be mistaken, last year.

Q. You said you had respect for the course, after two days here, you haven't shown a whole lot of respect; that's a record score.

JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly, just shows you what I guess playing smart does. I'm taking my chances a little bit better. I've maybe holed out fairly well from sort of four to eight feet. That's what guys do every single week when you win tournaments. That's where it is, really.

Q. Did not playing the Open Championship fire you up for the last part of the season, to prove something

JUSTIN ROSE: Not prove something well, maybe prove something. Being second reserve at the Open Championship, being second reserve at the PGA Championship, hanging around all day Thursday, yeah, it's not where I want to be. It's not where I believe I should be. It was in a sense a wake up call and motivating factor.

Q. With your background, are your expectations different, just a few years ago, talking about the rivalry with Adam, where you've pictured yourself in the golf world?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I feel like I've I certainly feel like I'm underachieving at the moment. I've been in the Top 30 around there in the world at 21, 22 years of age, and then obviously there's been some things happened. I'm trying to adapt to that. I've changed tours, I've had a few other changes in my life, so I feel like I'm beginning to get a grip of all of that again and beginning to feel comfortable in my surroundings and hopefully it's going to reflect on my golf.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your birdies, you started on 1 and 2.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I hit driver, wedge to about eight feet there.

Second hole was a 3 wood, lob wedge to about six feet.

Par 5, driver, 5 wood into the green side trap, smashed out to eight feet there.

7, I hit driver, pitching wedge to four feet.

12, 3 wood, sand wedge to ten feet.

Par 5 hit 3 wood, 5 wood, probably my best SHOT OF THE DAY, 5 wood in there to about 15 felt and 2 putted.

Then 3 wood, pitching wedge to five feet at 14.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Justin.

End of FastScripts.

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