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June 5, 2004

Justin Rose


TODD BUDNICK: 3-under 69 today, Justin, has you 10-under, two back of the leader heading into tomorrow. You must feel good about where you are heading into the final round.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for sure. I mean, obviously it's a class field and it's a situation where, hey, you're going to have to shoot a great round to be in this tournament, but certainly I put myself in the tournament to be 2 back. My mindset is, hey, I'm going to go out there and do what I did today, just stay patient, just play the round shot for shot. That's the way it's got to be tomorrow, just keep hitting good shots and make the putts.

TODD BUDNICK: Patience paid off with the five birdies and just that one mistake on No. 3. Talk about that.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I hit a great tee shot, too, and I just hit it where you can't hit it on the third hole. That's what makes this golf course so good. I had a wedge in my hand but I basically had to be very defensive and got a little bit too aggressive, pulled the wedge long left, had no up-and-down, got too cute with it and ended up making 6. It was important for me to come back strongly and quickly from that. A birdie on the 5th helped some.

Q. After the previous two times you've had the halfway lead, was today important for you to show that you could fire up in that situation?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think a lot of people's minds would go back to Augusta naturally. I think deep down I'm a really good, gutsy competitor and I didn't do myself justice. Actually last week in Europe I felt like I played really well, it was just a matter of I couldn't quite get things happening and make the putts.

Today I was really pleased with my temperament really because I felt that a score could have got away from me today, especially after the 3rd, but I hung in there and did what I had to do and came back strongly.

Q. You've got to be excited about having a chance to win, but is it more exciting having a chance to test yourself against the guys on the leaderboard being who they are?

JUSTIN ROSE: Sure. At my age I'm still learning. These are all really good experiences for me. I'm trying not to really think too much about winning at the moment. I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to try and win, but I think it's been working against me, so my mindset tomorrow is to go out there and give it 100 percent and do it with a little bit more -- a bit of an understated way, just concentrate shot for shot and not get ahead of myself. Easier said than done.

Q. Do you feel as comfortable on this golf course as you can feel, considering how tough conditions are?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for sure. Today I saw what Muirfield Village can be like or much more the way the course is meant to be played. Today the course firmed up quite a bit. The greens were so much quicker and crustier and faster and scarier than they have been the first couple of days.

You know, how was the scoring in general today? I know there were some decent scores.

Q. A little bit better than yesterday overall.

JUSTIN ROSE: That surprises me so much. I felt the course was actually a bit tougher today. Maybe that was just me.

Q. You were first off yesterday. It got harder in the afternoon.

JUSTIN ROSE: That's probably why. I had it perfect yesterday morning, first out, fresh greens. It was great.

Q. Except for Ernie, pretty much the same thing happened today. The high scores were this morning. The wind was a little different.

JUSTIN ROSE: That's interesting. The course is definitely firing up a little bit and getting a bit faster.

Q. K.J. was saying this area reminds him of South Korea with the hills and trees and the climate. Does it remind you of South Korea or anything else.

JUSTIN ROSE: I love South Korea. It's a beautiful place and definitely a beautiful golf course. It is one of the best golf courses I've played. A lot of guys have said to me -- beefed up this tournament in my mind, saying it's one of the best tournaments you'll play this year. Often when guys say that, you get there and it's a bit of a letdown, but this one certainly isn't. It really is a great tournament from the way you get looked after in the locker room to the quality of the golf course.

Q. Anything in Europe you see like this?

JUSTIN ROSE: Not course-wise, no. This really is -- no, it's just a quality golf course.

Q. Being born in South Africa, did they have to change the Ryder Cup rules for you to be eligible or what is it exactly?

JUSTIN ROSE: No. I mean, basically I've always had a British passport since I was born. My grandparents are British on both sides, so it's kind of old ancestors are British and one generation skipped to South Africa and then the family came back basically, to make a long story short. I have always considered myself British really.

Q. Because the Americans, I don't know if you know, used to have a rule you had to be born in the States and there were some players born overseas of American parents that weren't eligible and they had to change the rules.

JUSTIN ROSE: No, I'm not sure that's ever been the case in Europe. I don't know.

Q. You don't have dual citizenship?


Q. Have you had a chance to hang out with Jack this week?

JUSTIN ROSE: Not at all, unfortunately. I've seen him from a distance and on the range and this and that, but I haven't even had a chance to say hello and thank him and all that kind of stuff. If things go well tomorrow I probably will do that.

TODD BUDNICK: How about your birdies, Justin, No. 2.

JUSTIN ROSE: No. 2 was good, I hit driver, 9-iron to four feet.

5, I hit driver, 2-iron to 25 feet, two-putted.

10, hit 3-wood, 9-iron to 25 feet, made a putt there.

14, hit 3-iron and sand wedge to six inches. I can handle those (laughter).

17, 3-wood, 7-iron to ten feet.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Justin.

End of FastScripts.

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