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August 29, 2003

Justin Rose


MODERATOR: We thank Justin Rose for joining us after his 8-under, 63 which would be the new course tournament record. Justin, you are playing your 10th event on Tour this season coming off a T -33 at last week's NEC Invitational. Let's get to this week first, looks like six birdies and an eagle, no bogeys. That's a solid round today.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I was delighted. I got off to a fantastic start early on. I stiffed it on 1 and then stiffed it on 4, 5 and 7, so I really hadn't made a putt until the 8th where I knocked in a 20-footer and suddenly I was 5-under. The back nine, there are some tricky holes on the back nine so I knew I had to knuckle down great and grind the score out, it is a great way to finish check.

Q. Talk about the back nine, 7 pars in a row and then birdie, eagle?

JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly. I missed a short putt on the birdie on 9. Missed a 6-footer there for birdie. But I didn't let that get to me, stayed patient, and I knew that pars are still a good score around this golf course. I went for the middle of the green on a few shots and just took my par in holes like holes like 12 and 13 -- well actually, 12, 14, just played middle of the green and just tried to get out of there. I felt like it was a good mix for me today between sort of good conservative golf and good aggressive golf.

MODERATOR: Normally in the States it would be a new course for you. This week it happens to be a new course for everybody. How much practice did you have, the opportunity to get in before today's round?

JUSTIN ROSE: It's funny, having played the last two events we played I haven't had a Pro-Am so you get caught up in practicing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday before the Thursday start. So I feel that maybe looking back that tired me out a little bit last couple of weeks. I thought this week I am going to take it a little bit easier, I came up played on Wednesday. Took Thursday off, just came up did two, three hours practice. Just trying to pace my safe a little bit better.

MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take some questions.

Q. How close did you get on those first few holes -- (inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: 1st hole was like 18 inches. The 4th hole was two feet. The 5th hole was three feet. Then 7th hole was about 18 inches again. So I was kicking them in nearly.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: I hit sand wedge on 1. 8-iron on 4 and 5. And then I was in the green-side bunker on 7, splashed out close. Then hit 5-iron to 20 feet on the 8th. Made the putt there.

Q. When did you feel you were in a groove?

JUSTIN ROSE: I felt really, really good. The 4th is probably the narrowest goal on the golf course. It is a tough hole, and hit a drive straight down the middle there. That is a hole you really have to trust your swing on and just make a good swing there. I hit a great tee shot. Hit the 8-iron to two feet. That's when I felt really comfortable with my swing.

Q. Any chance to get the par on the hole, or is that going to be --

JUSTIN ROSE: For me that's -- it is a driver just straight down the left. If you leak it a little bit to the right it's in the hazard. I think the very, very long hitters in the field might be able to -- not carry the corner on the fairway, but make it over the hazard into the bunkers, but it's a tough hole.

Q. Why are you playing good?

JUSTIN ROSE: I enjoy playing in the States. Obviously I was exempt into the last -- the previous Tour events. You know why, you are over here and it makes sense to play a little run. It is a great tournament, obviously. And it would be nice to make enough money to have the opportunity to play here a little bit more should I want to next year.

Q. How much do you play over here?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think you look at the majors and the world championships as your sort of targets and what you want to peak for. If you use Augusta as an example it is nice to come over and play a run of three or four tournaments leading into Augusta. So I think for a European, and being top 50 in the world, I think it's great to come over and get some match practice before the big ones. I mean, they are all big over here but the real big ones.

Q. How important was the rest that you had before the PGA Championship?

JUSTIN ROSE: I took three weeks off. Proved to be disastrous, but it might be paying benefits now, exactly. If I was to be honest with you I kind of lost my enthusiasm a little bit around that time and I was a little bit frustrated with the game. I said well, I am going to take three weeks off, spend that time actually practicing working on your game because often when you play and play and play it's hard to actually work on your game and work on your technique should something be wrong. You can only really do good solid work on your swing way from the tournament.

Q. What do you like about this golf course and don't like?

JUSTIN ROSE: I love it. I love everything about it today. (Laughter).

MODERATOR: You like 18 a lot.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, but having come from the last two weeks with a fairway that are relatively narrow, very narrow, in fact, the fairways here are little bit wider; you feel like you can get up and make a good aggressive swing and you can -- I think it does suit a long hitter in terms of if you can carry the bunkers, there's a big advantage there. So that's something that it's good and bad depends which way you look at it. Certainly the fairways are wider and it gives you the feeling you can go out there and play golf. You are not feeling like you are caged in and you are just trying to grind a score out. So that's very much how I felt about the course.

Q. How about the crowd, the American crowd versus your hometown?

JUSTIN ROSE: Four Thursday morning the crowds were very, very big. Obviously Tiger was pulling the big crowds and we were getting the crowds filtering sort of before and after him. But the crowds are great out there. They are always very supportive to me so it's good.

Q. How many practice rounds (inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: Just played it once on Wednesday. The yardage books we use are so good these days that, you know, if you -- basically for me the main thing about a practice round is just getting the lines off tees and just testing out the obvious mistake that you can make. But if you are in an aggressive mode you just see the middle of the fairway and see the flag, and that's how I saw it today.

I felt comfortable with my swing today, yeah.

Q. What did you do on 18?

JUSTIN ROSE: 18 is a deceptive tee shot. You almost can't hit it far enough right. The trees that are on the right-hand side of the tee push you up the left side of the fairway so you will see a lot of guys up in that left rough on the bank this week. I managed to cut it around there enough to be in the fairway. Then I hit 4-iron -- I had 231 yards to the flag, hit 4-iron just on to the back edge of the green about 14 feet, I guess, and holed a nice putt from just off the green.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: It was a fairly easy putt, actually. Pretty flat, with about six inches right-to-left.

Q. Have you ever led a tournament over here?

JUSTIN ROSE: I don't think so. I think at one stage, the NEC -- not obviously last week the week before, I mean, the year before, I think I was maybe second in the last round at some stage of that and the guys made a few birdies coming in. I can't remember leading one anyway.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: I knew I had a little work to do. I never thought this is the wrong decision. After I finished fourth at Birkdale obviously a lot of expectation and hype, all this type of stuff, and then obviously didn't live up to that. I kind of look back at my amateur career as a source of confidence rather than that fourth-place finish. I look to my amateur career, I was youngest ever Walker Cup player and achieved a lot of great things as an amateur. I kind of look back to that saying look, you are a good player, you can play this game, it's just going to take a lot of work and dedication to pull through to get you to where you want to be.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: Just pure hard work. I have always believed I have got the talent. I just went through a stage - whether because I grew or whatever it might have been - I just sort of -- I suddenly started to get the club stuck behind me and you have to rely on your hands a lot more that way. So I have been working -- even now I still work on trying to get the club in front of me so I have to rely less on my hands. And I still work on that pretty much every time I see David Leadbetter.

Q. (Inaudible) the last birdie on 17.

JUSTIN ROSE: 3-wood, then I hit 8-iron to about three feet. I made a nice up-and-down on the 11th hole which is a tough par 3. Came out just short right of the green and was into sort of quite -- the thick rough around the green there and managed to pitch it out to about two feet. It was a good save.

Q. (Inaudible) anything you worked on --

JUSTIN ROSE: I think it was just over the last two weeks been working really hard on a few things and I just felt like everything just suddenly sort of gelled together, like it all just clicked into place. Maybe worked on being a little bit more aggressive to the ball, obviously when your confidence isn't quite there you tend to be just a little bit steery (sic), a little bit guidey (sic). Today I was a lot more aggressive through the ball. I think that mindset helped the swing just piece together.

Q. How long were you with him (inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: Only an hour. Hour max. David is actually incredible, it can take five minutes sometimes. If he just sees something and then he manages to kind of tell you in a way that you can internalize it and feel what he's trying to -- the moves he's trying to tell you to make. He's fantastic in making you feel them which is the key to being a great teacher in my opinion.

Q. When did you see him?

JUSTIN ROSE: Wednesday.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Justin.

End of FastScripts.

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