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January 14, 2005

Justin Rose


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Justin Rose for joining us, 7-under and one back of the leader through the first two rounds of your PGA TOUR season this year. You got off to a great start today with four birdies in your first seven holes. Let's start with some comments on your round today.

JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly. When the wind picks up, you can swap the pars of 1 and 9, really. 1 is playing pretty tough, so, to make a birdie there is a huge bonus. And I managed to do that by holing a bunker start. So perfect start, really.

And I played really well through the next six holes, getting myself good chances, and birdied 5, which is another tough par 4, so to birdie those two holes is good.

To play 6 and 7, hit it in to about six feet on both of those and made the putts. Almost the bogey I made an 8 actually felt like a birdie. I hit it left off the tee down in the hazard. Having a bit of trouble off that tee, so dropped way back and hit it around the green. I made a good up-and-down, so that felt like it kept my momentum going. A bit disappointed then to make only a par on 9 after hitting a great tee shot. I only had 7-iron in there left, so that was a shame; and 10 is a birdie hole I didn't make the most of. So to go 5-5-4 through those stretch of three holes felt like I lost a bit of momentum.

But I think the key was I stayed really patient and managed to pick up a birdie on 15. And gave it straight back on 16 which is obviously disappointing. But I've been working hard obviously at staying calm and patient, and managed to birdie the next hole. So it's nice to be able to bounce back like that.

TODD BUDNICK: Talk about your goals this year. You've not won out here, but you've played well and showed some signs. Is that the next step this year?

JUSTIN ROSE: The goal is to win and I want to win and I can't wait to win. But at the same time, I think it's more important -- it's easy to set goals, and okay, I want to win twice on the Tour and all these sorts of things and Money List.

But I think the key for me this year is to focus on the process of putting little building blocks in place, and that will enable me to get the final result. That's kind of what I'm working on. That's what I've been working on in the off-season. Obviously little things like increasing my scrambling percentage and strategy on par 5s. All of these little things end up making a big difference, really.

Q. Being young is kind of irrelevant this week, isn't it?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's true. I mean, 15 is exceptionally young.

Yeah, I suppose I don't feel young anymore. This is myself seventh season, seventh year as a pro,.

Q. You're 24 now?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, turned pro at 17. So, I mean, yeah there's no excuses anymore, you know.

Q. Sorry to bring that up. Do you recall even though you're talking about the process and building blocks, that you're more prepared to be in these kind of positions this year than you were a year ago? And is some of that, if it is, just more comfortableness?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think 2002, I won four times. So I did sort of learn how to win and I feel like I've always been a winner through my amateur golf, I won tournaments. I think last year, yeah, I didn't really give myself a lot of realistic opportunities to win, but at the same time I feel like I wanted to -- when I did have a sniff of it, I felt like I wanted it too much and got in my own way.

So it's just a matter of -- I mean, I'm talking to you about winning, but that's not even on my mind. The key is tomorrow is another day, first tee shot. That's just sort of the small building blocks I'm talking about. It's staying in the present and trusting that if you do that, the result also happen.

Q. When people talked about the Ryder Cup Team last year and the great youth in Europe, was there a part of you saying, they are not the only youth? Did you feel a little left out?

JUSTIN ROSE: Totally, yeah, I look at those guys and, you know, yeah, I know obviously I'm every bit as good if not --

Q. Not what?

JUSTIN ROSE: Too modest to say. (Laughter.) So, of course, yeah, I feel like -- but I didn't feel left out because I didn't do what I had to do in order to get into the team. And those guys did, and every credit to them and they made the team and they deserved their spots, for sure.

But, yeah, you know, the depth is obviously greater than the few players that play in the Ryder Cup now.

Q. Do you find conditions pretty similar today?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it started out a little -- obviously it rained quite a lot. I didn't realize how much it rained, but it rained quite a bit last night. The course had softened up again. It was more like Tuesday. The course played a lot more like Tuesday. It was slightly different today and the wind gradually picked up the front nine holes. There was a breeze, but then it picked up to, I don't know, sort of 70 percent of where it was yesterday.

Q. Are you working on your driving last year, have you hit on something?

JUSTIN ROSE: Just posture again. Just trying to keep all of the fundamentals. I hit a couple of shots I wasn't very happy with. I didn't feel comfortable with the driver in my hand at address last few holes last night, and that can happen playing in the wind, you tend to get a little bit out of balance. You're trying to keep the ball lower, the tendency is to get left-sided. I wanted to hit a few shots just to work on that.

Q. Are you going to play exclusively in the States until the spring?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, right now I'm playing exclusively full-stop in the States. That's the way my schedule is playing right now.

Q. So are you going to relinquish your European card?

JUSTIN ROSE: Right as we stand at the moment, I'm outside the Top-50 in the world, which obviously, it's very, very difficult, if not impossible, to play both tours if you're outside of the Top-50 in the world, and right now I am. So, should I have a really fast start to the year and cement myself back in the Top-50, that could and may well change my direction for the rest of the year. But right now, yeah, it's one or the other, and it's going to be this side if I have to choose.

Q. So you would not be eligible for the Ryder Cup, would you?

JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously that's '06, and there's a lot of time before I have to make that decision. So I'm sure -- I'm sure I'll find a way to be eligible because that's obviously a big objective of mine.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's just go through your holes, Justin.

JUSTIN ROSE: 1, driver, 5-iron and hold the bunker shot. It was probably about 15 yards, 45 feet.

5, driver, 7-iron to 20 feet.

6, next hole, driver, 8-iron to six feet.

7, next hole, 8-iron to six feet.

15, I hit 2-iron, 9-iron to 20 feet.

16, I hit it left off the tee but I was in the semi and I was just blocked out. So I hit a low-running 4-iron which came up just short of the green and didn't get up-and-down there. I hit 5-iron to six feet at 17.

Q. Possibility of birdies on the par 5s?

JUSTIN ROSE: 9, I was right there. I just had a pretty simple bunker shot, pretty similar bunker shot to the first hole actually, and caught it a bit clean and about 15 foot by the hole.

18, I had 110 yards third shot into the, wind which is not an easy shot and hit it to probably 15 feet. Hit a really good putt which just didn't go in.

End of FastScripts.

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