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May 26, 2004

Justin Rose


RODDY WILLIAMS: Welcome to the Volvo PGA Championship here at Wentworth, first tournament on the home tour for a little while. Nice to be back home?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely for a long time. This is always a really nice week for me. I've got, yeah, sort of ever since I was eight years old probably, used run around this course with a backpack full of sandwiches and watch the guys. So it's nice to be in the action, inside the ropes and feeling like I have a chance to win, if you like.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Are you feeling confident coming into this week?

JUSTIN ROSE: Definitely. Beginning to play really nicely the last sort of, say, month or two. Feeling good, looking good, putting is beginning to feel good. So, yeah, there's no reason why not.

Q. You've been here since an eight year old. Which are your first memories, the first competition or tournament that you saw here as a spectator, do you remember who won?

JUSTIN ROSE: I'm not sure exactly results and times and things like that. I remember Greg Norman, being one of those kids who used stand out here on the 18th green and pester professionals for balls and that sort of thing. I remember Greg Norman walking past and just sort of being, you know, really amazed at how big and how intimidating he was, really. I think that's one memory I have for sure.

Q. Have you played with him?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I have. Yeah, it's different now. (Laughter.)

Q. You say the swing is coming together, at what point do you stop working on it or is it always?

JUSTIN ROSE: Never, really. I mean, it always yeah, you're always working on sort of faults that always creep back in. It's just the nature of the beast, actually. If you take a week off and don't practice that hard, it's amazing how you just slip back into old habits very, very quickly, yeah. But the better you get, the less the degree of those faults, the less the degree of faults are, your bad shots are better and that's why we practice, really.

Q. You talked a bit about having a bit of catch up to do, now that you've had your time off the European Tour, do you feel really ready to go now, you've had a couple of weeks break since you got back?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely feel like it's the second phase of my season, if you like. Obviously, the American trip, I saw as a block and a spell of time, and then starting last week, yeah, this was the start of sort of a new phase of the season. Yeah, different challenges and different goals, if you like.

Yeah, there's like a renewed enthusiasm again sort of going into this spell of tournaments.

Q. How friendly do you find the players on the U.S. PGA TOUR? Ben Curtis was in yesterday and said what he liked about coming here is the players are so friendly and he gets invited out for dinner and things in the evenings but it doesn't work like that out there.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I find when you're at the golf course in America, it's great, there's no problems, everyone is generally very, very friendly. But it's just the way the culture is, everyone travels with their families and obviously dinner time, everyone obviously goes and does their own thing.

Whereas in Europe, it tends to be a lot more tends to be more single guys or guys who don't have their family with them. Obviously traveling is harder in Europe, so therefore, families don't come out as much. There's a lot more options to go for dinner which is probably yeah, at the course we are all doing our thing, doing our business, but it's the off course time, it's nice when there's a few of you and you can get together.

Q. How beneficial do you think the experience of playing a sustained block in the United States is going to prove for you?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think it was beneficial in terms of, I have to travel less if I play a longer spell of tournaments out there, rather than coming back for a couple, there for a couple, being back here for a couple. That's one reason I didn't spend such a long period over there. It made it look like I was committing quite definitely to the U.S. Tour, but I was trying to conserve my energy and play well through the middle of the season and not having burnt myself out too early.

Q. It wasn't something that was specific to game improvement, sort of pitting yourself against the guys over there?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's always game improvement and in terms of being near my coach, David Leadbetter, it's easier for me to spend much more time with him when I'm over there. But I don't necessarily think playing over there against those fields necessarily makes you a better player. Obviously Europe is incredibly competitive and there's not a massive differences, but the courses are sightly different. Once you get a hang of it, there's not a great deal in it.

Q. Where are you in terms of your career benchmarks at the moment and how much have you fulfilled in terms of what you'd expected by this stage of your career?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, last probably year or so, I've fallen just a touch behind. Yeah, I'm still very happy, but I need to get obviously myself back into Top 50 in the world as quick as possible. You know, to do that, by winning would be the way to go. So I think that's what I really need now is just to win another tournament and just to feel like I'm back on track, because there's obviously no better feeling than winning, and that's what I'm after at the moment.

Q. Where do you stand exemption wise for the majors you're in the U.S. Open?

JUSTIN ROSE: I'm in the U.S. Open, I'm not currently in the Open, and chances are, I'll be in the U.S. PGA.

Q. So will you go to Sunningdale for the Open?

JUSTIN ROSE: I'm entered right now, yeah. There's still various options available in terms of how you can get in. I think there's a mini Order of Merit that starts this week

Q. Started last week?

JUSTIN ROSE: Started last week? It's a shame. (Laughter.) Yeah, to play well between now and the Open, should be fine.

Q. Is Wentworth a course you enjoy playing and does it suit your game?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely. I like the fact that you have to vary the clubs you hit off the tee. Hit on par 4s everything from 5 iron to driver off the tee. It's a course you have to think quite well around, and it's not long by any means, but the wind is very tricky around here. I think a good strategy is very important.

Q. Six or eight weeks down the line, how is your memory gone now of what happened at the Masters, just to lead and then fall back and how did you feel about that now?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I don't feel bothered by it at all, really. I just feel like, yeah, it was I gave myself a great chance, and just showed myself that when I try and prepare for a specific week, I'm very capable of doing that. I think that's a skill you have to learn sometimes is not hold your game back but just prepare in a way that you know that you're going to have everything right when you want it there.

That's what I tried to do for that week and I managed to do that, which is the case for sort of all the majors. You try and get your game ready for those. So I learned a lot in terms of that.

But, yeah, just in terms of not getting it done, yeah, I'm not really that bothered, to be honest with you.

Q. Plenty of time?

JUSTIN ROSE: Plenty of time.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Thanks very much for coming in. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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