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July 16, 2003

Justin Rose


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Justin Rose. Justin, you played Loch Lomond last week, a course dramatically different than Sandwich. How are you preparations going this week?

JUSTIN ROSE: They're going well. It obviously started for me a little earlier than I rather liked. Last weekend I wanted to practice at home. So I found something that I began to feel comfortable with and I came down here. It's always good for me to catch up with David Leadbetter. My preparation for tournaments is better when he's around. It felt like a long three days, to be honest, I'm quite ready for it to get going tomorrow.

Q. Is there something specific you've worked on with David?

JUSTIN ROSE: Just sort of strengthening the club at the top of the swing a little bit. It was a little bit open, and the other good thing about that is to help keep the ball down. It's a bit of a stronger position, it helps you keep it lower, which hopefully will work well for this week.

Q. You played yesterday with Nick Faldo. Obviously didn't enjoy losing to him. But what did you learn from that 18 holes, watching someone who knows these courses so well?

JUSTIN ROSE: Actually, Nick's strategy was pretty aggressive, to be honest. Obviously he's known for his tactics and things like that. But he used the driver a little bit more than actually the other three -- than we did. He was hitting the ball really, really solid, hitting a lot of fairways. So obviously -- you can see the areas on the fairway he's trying to aim at. And in some instances that was quite aggressive play, which was interesting to see.

Q. Did you learn a lot?

JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think it comes to a stage where what's good for me is not necessarily good for him and vice-versa. I was very much focused on my own strategy, and developing what I -- in going with what I feel comfortable with. But it was interesting to see. We hit 2-irons on one hole and he hit driver. But, yeah, it was --

Q. Can you speak briefly about what Nick Faldo represents to you as a young player with a lot of expectations being heaped on you? I just wonder when you look at Nick Faldo now and think about what he's done, what's the sort of general impression? And are there things there that you would be keen to reproduce in your own career?

JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think -- well, he's the greatest ever British player in terms of the majors he's won. And that's what it boils down to, the limited experience I've had of majors. They've been nothing but great experiences, and they're tournaments I really, really love playing in. If I had to say I'd like to win two of them, it would be The Masters and the Open. And he's got three a piece. So that's a record that if I could get close to that would be a hell of an achievement. He represents a benchmark, something to aim at for sure. But I think he also represents the fact that -- how much discipline it takes, as well. You can learn from that with him, how much effort he puts in and how much hard work he's put in to get where he got in his career. As a young player you look at that. Talent doesn't -- that doesn't go the distance. You need to have the work ethic.

Q. A lot has been written or will be written over the next day or two about the young British guns, the four of you. Is there an intense rivalry and friendship amongst you?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think so. I would say -- there's certainly -- you want to keep pace with -- if you see a couple of the young guys play really well, you feel like you want to keep pace. You don't want to get left behind in the group, for sure. It's nice to be involved in that rivalry, too. But at the same time it's a very individual game and you can't let it -- you can't focus on it. It's fun for you guys to build up a bit of rivalry, and that's cool. We're happy to go along with that, because it's interesting for us, too. I think Ian and I probably have the best rivalry/camaraderie between the two of us. And that's the ideal scenario, where you get along fantastically on and off the course. You're trying your hearts out to win, but there's still that element of fun to it. I think that's the ideal scenario.

Q. I've heard say that Adam Scott started in America and then came back to the European Tour, because he enjoyed the friendship of the younger players. You've played a lot more in America this year, have you spotted the difference?

JUSTIN ROSE: When I've gone to America I've been very, very focused on my golf, and I've done very little other than golf. It's probably a little bit too hard to comment at that stage. But I spent a lot of time with Adam out in the States. So basically, I've stuck around with my mate from Europe. One way that would suggest that -- well, I don't know. But I haven't really made a bunch of friends over there, as of yet. But I've certainly enjoyed the atmosphere over there. All the American players greet me now when they come to the British Open. And it's nice -- I think the experience I've had over there has helped me feel more comfortable in that sort of situation, when I go back and play, for example, PGA and things like that.

Q. Whenever you come back to an Open we can't help reflecting on Birkdale. I wonder if the memories came back to you, and how you would compare your 5th place in the U.S. Open to what you did at Birkdale?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, the memories -- they don't come -- I don't think about them all the time, obviously, but just that arena, the 18th, there, I think that for me is ultimate that brings back wonderful memories, wonderful feelings and excites me for possible future -- that's what I'm sort of striving for, is to see my name on the top of that yellow leaderboard one day. For me, that's probably one of the most exciting walks in golf. But comparing it to the U.S. Open, the U.S. Open was a much more sort of calm, calculated, sort of an achievement, rather than an emotional achievement, just purely going on the back of the crowd's emotion, and my own emotion and just sort of raw talent, if you like. The U.S. Open was more an achievement of putting a lot of hard work and a more professional performance, probably.

Q. We were talking to Monty about this great quest he's had to be an Open champion. To you other guys, does he serve as a warning, that you can have immense talent and still find this a very difficult event to win? Do you look at Monty and regard him as a warning in a sense, just to keep your perspective?

JUSTIN ROSE: Well, yeah, you can look at it that way or you can sort of look at it in other ways, too, that you don't have to win 7 Orders of Merit to be good enough to win a major. Obviously he's achieved great things in other ways. But you get other guys, Mike Weir -- great players that won a major, so -- I don't know how to answer your question other than to say you never know when you could stumble across a major or something like that. And obviously Monty, for whatever reason, has just never -- luck has never gone his way, for whatever reason, I'm not too sure.

Q. What does the Open mean for you now after five years, and do you think you're ready to win one now?

JUSTIN ROSE: I feel -- for me, it's the highlight of the year, so it's a tournament I look forward to. It's a tournament that's possibly been on my mind the last couple of weeks. The last two weeks have been big tournaments, I've been focused on them, but maybe it's been niggling on the back of my mind and one I was getting excited about. If I went my career without bin go, I would feel disappointed because of how much it means to me. Whether I'm ready or not -- I feel after last year, when I basically had a chance to win, you don't really get that many better chances than that. I didn't take on the challenge that day. I didn't feel I was ready. And this way if that situation came around again, I would feel a lot more at ease with thinking I could win the Open Championship.

Q. At what point did you feel that you were ready? How does that happen if suddenly you think now I could handle it so much better? Is there a single moment or just a cumulative thing?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think just a culmination of all the experiences I've been through. I sort of began to realize it when I got back from Augusta. I began to realize that -- how special the Majors are, and how rarely they come about. You've got to really jump and seize your chances, and you can't let chances like that go begging or not feel like you're ready for them, because who knows when your next realistic chance is going to come along. If it does happen, you have to grab it with both hands.

Q. Seize the day?


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