August 20, 2003
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks for coming in. It was here last year at this tournament last year you had a good finish, 5th, I believe. Reflect on that, and are you looking forward to this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Definitely. This was my second tournament in the States last year and I had a pretty good finish, played pretty well at Sahalee. I was delighted. I even remember getting to second place when I finished, so I was pretty excited about the week. And a few other guys made birdies coming in, but I think that helped me to really feel comfortable playing in America.
Q. Your first look at the course yesterday, your practice round, how did that go?
JUSTIN ROSE: I played nine holes Monday and 18 holes Tuesday, yesterday. I really, really enjoyed the course. Coming from last week, in a way it's a little bit of light relief.
The course is still very, very demanding in its own way, with the fairways a little bit wider. The rough, although it is penal, it is not as penal. I think it allows you to play golf out there. It's not purely a driving the ball test. Basically, it lets you hit your driver, be aggressive, but come the weekend it's going to be tricky, but I think come the weekend it's going to get tricky. The greens are going to get fast.
Q. Paul Casey said at the end of last week that he would actually sign a petition to reduce the severity of the punishment for going in the rough at these major championships. Do you feel perhaps it's gone a bit too far?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think the last two, probably compounded with the fact that I haven't been maybe on top of my game, but the last two have been a real grind. You know, I think that the conditions like, say, last week, they're fine as long as it's not every single week or every time a major is played.
I think a major has to be like that to bring out the best player or do what it takes to win a major. There are going to be weeks, maybe it rained a lot of Oak Hill, the conditions. That's the way it was there, the rough was tough. That is good sometimes, but if it's what they're aiming for every single week, I don't necessarily agree that's the right way to go.
Q. There was a time when to go in the rough at a major meant half a stroke, and it now seems it's a full stroke, certainly it was last week.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely. I think last week there was the odd hazard crossing the fairway and if you hit in the rough you were pitching out 50, 60 yards down the fairway. I would say last week it was certainly a whole stroke. I think if you can -- certainly if you hit the ball in the rough you shouldn't be able to knock it on the green and things like that, but there should be an element of if you do knock it in the rough there should be, do I get lucky with a lie and have a chance at the green or have to pitch out? I think I went through a spell of four or five holes where I felt I didn't hit that bad of shots and I went bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey, and I thought, "wow, this course is killing me out here today."
Q. The course didn't knock you down too much last week?
JUSTIN ROSE: Looking for a touch of confidence at the moment, maybe that wasn't the best venue to come and play, but I'm not really letting that get to me. I think the last two tournaments I've played have both been extremely tough, so I think -- moving on from that really, looking forward to the rest of the season, and I think a little spot of confidence and everything will click into place.
Q. What's on the list for the rest of the season?
JUSTIN ROSE: Certainly I'd love to make enough money in the States to have the option of playing here if I wanted to a little bit more next year, just to have the option would be great. But I think also to have one win come at the end of the season, to maybe win in Europe from now until the end of the year, that would be great. That would make me feel like it turned into a good year.
Q. To have the option, what does that mean financially?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm not sure what it is, is it 550-ish, is that the figure, to have playing rights? I think I've made 310 or something like that. Maybe you could find that out.
Q. Do you have any more tournaments scheduled, American Express?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've got NEC, Deutsche Bank, next week I'm playing over here, and then NEC -- yeah, that's it, I think, AmEx.
Q. Would you take a card if you had the option next year?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't think I would play full-time, but it would be a nice option to be able to play where I wanted prior to majors, things like that. I definitely foresee myself still obviously being a member of the European Tour.
Q. Ian Poulter was saying yesterday that he thought you were putting too much pressure on yourself.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'd probably say that's fair. Obviously, I feel like I'm working hard on my game, on all aspects, and possibly not getting the results right now. I think maybe trying too hard could be hurting me at the moment. Maybe I just need to relax a little, let it flow, let it happen, and trust the hard work you are putting in is going to pay off eventually. Who knows when that week will be or when that spell will be when everything clicks into place and maybe just take it a little bit easy on myself until that happens.
Q. Do you think you've been tough on yourself?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely. You've got to be tough on yourself, as well, to improve and things like that. There is a fine line about pushing yourself to perform to your best and pushing yourself where you're actually hurting yourself, and who knows where that line is. I think right now I've just got to trust the fact that I'm putting in some good work and I trust that I'm a good player and just let things happen.
Q. Is the plan to play 18 today?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I'm going to play nine holes today. The weeks are so long from Monday to Wednesday, I find that -- possibly Oak Hill, as well, you put too much effort into your practice rounds that the whole week becomes very, very long and very, very tiring, so I think this week -- I mean, two rounds is plenty to see the course. My caddie has been around here a few times. He knows what to expect, so nine holes will be a good way of just getting into tomorrow, I think.
Q. Who are you playing with?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm not sure who I'm playing with. To be honest, I feel like I get a lot of good work done on my own out there. I played nine holes on my own on Monday, really enjoyed it. I really had a chance to putt around the greens, hit different shots in there and work on where the pins might be on the greens and sort all that out. Then yesterday we had a game, Thomas Bjorn, Adam Scott, Paul Casey and myself, and that was fun. That's always a good way of having a practice round, is having a competitive game. I think I might possibly play the other nine holes on my own today, do the same sort of thing.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Did you take any money yesterday?
JUSTIN ROSE: No. One of the first few times I've taken money from Adam Scott was at Oak Hill in the practice round and he deferred payment. He actually won more from me at Oak Hill so I never saw the money.
Q. What do you make of Ben Curtis' efforts playing four rounds this weekend throwing in a marriage, as well, on Saturday?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think it's fantastic obviously because when they arranged the marriage he wouldn't have dreamed that he'd be playing in the NEC, so I think it's just nice that he's taking what's coming his way, basically still living his life how he lived it before he was the Open champion and taking other benefits as they come in stride, and I think he's really sort of seeing what's important. I mean, obviously he lives around here, so it's something pretty unique to be playing in a championship in the morning and then nipping off to get married in the afternoon. I don't think he wants to play too well before Saturday because he needs more time to go back and get ready, I reckon. His plan is to play okay Thursday, Friday, so he's got an early-ish tee time on Saturday and shoot 65 on Saturday so he can have a late one Sunday.
Q. Your plan is?
JUSTIN ROSE: My plan is 65s the whole way through. I've got nothing else to do this week.
Q. Have you stopped growing? You seem to have filled out.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's probably fair. I'm probably getting to an age now -- my brother was quite slim when he was my age and he's turned into quite a big bloke. I think height-wise I have stopped now. I think I will just naturally fill out. I'm not really doing anything in the gym to really build up muscle bulk too much. I'm doing a little bit of weights and resistance training, but nothing to beef myself up. It's all these steaks over here.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Justin, thanks very much.
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