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November 5, 2017
STEVE TODD: Pleased to be joined by Justin Rose, winner of the Turkish Airlines Open.
It's always hard to win once on The European Tour, but to do it back-to-back is some achievement. Just give us your thoughts on the day out there today.
JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously yeah, just delighted with that. I think it's my first back-to-back on The European Tour ever, so I like achieving new firsts, for sure. Knew I had a good chance. Obviously yesterday was a key round to go low and get myself in contention.
Similar situation to last week. Second to last group, but obviously quite a few shots closer. Today was obviously from very much the outset, a realistic opportunity to win. Got off to a strong start. I birdied the second hole. Unfortunately bogeyed the third and then kind of felt like it was a little flat, really, for me on the front nine but hit a good approach shot on No. 9 which kind of started the momentum going into the back nine.
Obviously I could see the leaderboard was very condensed all day and someone knew that it was going to take some type of run of birdies to break out today. There were a few players that did that towards the end. Dylan Frittelli did a brilliant job the last few holes, and my playing partner, Nicolas Colsaerts, too, was really strong down the stretch. So it was a really fun battle today.
STEVE TODD: You've given yourself now a terrific chance in The Race to Dubai, as well.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it really has. I put myself in a predicament about next week. I didn't quite fully anticipate being so close to Tommy, I suppose but the good thing is I can look at Dubai two ways. If I win, then -- well, depending obviously what Tommy does next week.
We'll have to see. It's in Tommy's hands still. He's definitely a couple hundred thousand ahead, and I just know I need to go and play well in Dubai. That's been my mentality from the outset and it not going to change. It's exciting to be within touching distance.
Q. You said you'd given yourself a predicament. Looking for a last-minute flight?
JUSTIN ROSE: I haven't played -- four in a row is not something that I do scheduling-wise. I've done it many times and I feel like by the fourth week, you're hoping to play well, not knowing you can play well, at least for me. Especially traveling through all these time zones. I'm kind of banking on trying to freshen up and continue my good form and momentum in Dubai.
I think I'm focusing on if I win there, then Tommy is going to have to play some good golf next week and Dubai to beat me, and if he does, hats or to him. I set my stall out, and I'll stick to it.
Q. You said there was something particularly satisfying about having to make three birdies in the last four, and you don't often win with birdie at the last.
JUSTIN ROSE: If I look back, a lot of my wins have been having done all the hard work and trying to close the door on 18, make a 2-putt or whatever it may be, make a solid par.
I haven't been in a situation where I've rolled in many putts on the 18th green to win a tournament and obviously the way things were unfolding on the course today, I knew that that putt on 18 was critical, whether it be for a playoff or it be for the win. It was a very satisfying putt on 18 to make when I had to.
Q. Your personal battle with Nicolas was an enjoyable one to watch. Looked like an enjoyable one to play. What did he say to you on 16 when you countered his punch?
JUSTIN ROSE: He said, "Did you enjoy the read?" Because he was putting a similar line and holed a beautiful putt which took the break late, and you know, he made it in the middle. I was on a similar line and obviously followed him in.
Yeah, he was like, "Did you enjoy the read? Thank you."
Q. You've already won the Order of Merit once. If you had not won that, would you have still gone to South Africa?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, this has all happened so fast. It's tough to make decisions right now, 20 minutes, 30 minutes after having won and stuff like that. You know, might be a decision that I'll look back on and think twice about.
Right now, I made the decision based on what I know works for me as a golfer, and having played -- been a pro 20-odd -- well, nearly 20 years, I kind of know what works for me and what doesn't. I know that when I do play, I want to be ready and prepared to play.
My decision was based around that, and also family commitments. Being away from the kids for six weeks is not something that I do. Some things aren't worth the sacrifice, you know, and I really try to be around my family as much as I can and I try to limit the time away to three weeks.
So those are some of the ways I try to run my life, and you know, you need to make decisions according to that. If I were young, single and could carry on, it would be a much easier decision.
Q. You mentioned this outside. Did Fooch say something to you on 14 or 15 tee about not having to do too much?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, he just said, just trust your experience, really. That was the point he was trying to get across. I think he was saying that, you know, sometimes it's tough to win and sometimes you don't think -- because he could sense maybe I was getting frustrated when I didn't birdie 13 or 14. I think that was his way of saying, just stay with it. You don't have to birdie every single hole to win. Sometimes you don't have to do as much as you think you have to do.
As it turned out today, a couple guys did really step up and it was a day where you had to do something to win. It was nice to birdie two of the last three. The last three holes all week, I don't think I've been able to make a birdie on them. They are pretty tricky holes. So it was kind of nice to do it today.
And also the only thing I noticed all week was I putted really well early in my round and I haven't putted so well towards the end of my rounds. Today it was sort of the opposite. Again it was nice knowing I did it when I had to.
Q. The other thing you mentioned was the putt reminded you a bit of the 72nd hole at the Masters. Can you talk about that and also what it means that you haven't let the Masters disappointment define the season and you've come strongly on?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. It's just sort of evidence, you're going to have putts that miss and you're going to have putts that are going to go in and you're going to win and you're going to lose.
The overriding thing as a player is that you have to commit to your process. You can't let the situation dictate how you hit the putt. You have to go through your routine and you have to commit and hit a positive putt. Having to make a putt by trying too hard to make it is often not the best way of making it. It's kind of trying to be free.
That's what I did on -- I thought I did a good job on 18th hole at Augusta because I was very aware of the magnitude of the situation, and I've promised myself that I would just hit a good, free putt and I did that. But I felt like I at least ran my process pretty well and I did the same today. It was nice that it went in. It was an easier putt, but to be fair this was straight up the hill. It kind of the was the dream putt you would like.
Q. Did you feel it was a match-play situation, where if you miss, Nicolas was more likely to hole his and vice versa?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, very much so. I think that was classic match play, which is why it reminded me of the 18th at the Masters.
Q. Did you have a number in mind that you had to shoot today, and going back to the numbers, what were you thinking as Nicolas stepped up and what was the conversation between you guys afterwards?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think my number was 17. I wanted to get to 17. I thought that that wouldn't be beaten. I made that decision late in my round about, going down 12, made that kind of judgment.
Really my thoughts on the last hole were in the fairway more than anything. I saw Dylan make his birdie to get to 17. Nicolas and I were both at 17. I was 210 yards out there and Nicolas was probably 220 on 18 up the hill.
When Nicolas hit that towering iron shot in and with the crowd reaction, I thought he was about six feet. So I knew I had to sort of follow, really. So for me, it was almost more the fairway was the fun part.
The putt was great. But following the second shot was as much fun as holing the putt.
Q. You're still ten months away from The Ryder Cup, but these two wins, great Ryder Cup points. Wondering whether one of those text messages was from Thomas?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not yet. I've been speaking to Thomas and seeing him around all week. Obviously he's just encouraging me. The sooner I -- he's been very complimentary and wants me on the team. And yeah, the sooner you take care of business, the better.
He's also been very frank and said, listen, do what you need to do all year long and just be ready for September. That's the key. Winning now is important. Winning now gets you on the team. But winning now doesn't win points in The Ryder Cup. Playing well in September does. There's a lot of pacing yourself that needs to be done.
Q. How long was the winning putt?
JUSTIN ROSE: Ten, 12 feet. 12 feet maybe.
Q. How neat was it to get the trophy delivered that way?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's a first, for sure. I didn't realise there was a person on the drone. Yeah, that was cool. That looked like fun. I don't know if I would like to try it right now but it does look like fun.
Q. Just looking ahead to Dubai, you have two second-place finishes in Dubai. Do you feel like you have some unfinished business?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for sure. I love Dubai. I feel like it's a tournament I really want to win. I feel like it's a tournament I played well. I feel like it's a tournament I have won, actually, because I remember playing the last hole with a two-shot lead and making birdie; that was the day I shot 62 playing the last hole and made birdie. Rory was a few holes behind but very rarely are you two ahead playing the last, make birdie and lose. Rory birdied the last five to beat me that year.
Yeah, for sure. You have tournaments like last week, for example, was the tournament that I stole, and then you have things like that that go against you occasionally.
So yeah, Dubai is a tournament that I really want on my -- it's a bucket list event. It's one of the ones you want to win.
Q. Going back quickly to the comparison with the Augusta putt, is that something that entered your mind before you played that shot today, or do you allow yourself to have those thoughts or in retrospect?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think it was in realtime I had that thought. The thing is I don't look back at the putt at Augusta negatively. It didn't go in; disappointing. I couldn't change much more about the execution part. I hit my putt on my line and it kind of touched the high side as it went by.
Did I over-aim it? Did I over-read it? I'm sure I did one of those things. But I felt like in the moment I hit a good putt. Like I committed to it. It wasn't like I peaked or I steered it or I did something like that. It was a good putt.
So I just encouraged myself to do the same thing in this situation, and as a player, that's all you can do. Not every putt goes in. Not every -- the stats from ten feet are, it's less than 50/50. So you know, you kind of just need to be free enough in the moment to make sure you hit a good putt and increase your chances of making it, really.
Q. The numbers seem to show 18 wins, major championship, puts you in kind of a different position in regards to looking at you from a historical standpoint. Can you assess what you think your career is so far and where you believe it can go?
JUSTIN ROSE: I mean, someone said to me: If you could do it all over again, if you could wipe the slate clean right now and do it all over again, would you? It's a good question.
I'm not sure I would. It's been 20 years of hard graft, hard work and I've achieved a lot. I've achieved a major championship. I've won Olympic Gold. I've won a lot of other tournaments. I've had some great moments. To kind of try to do all of that again from a fresh, clean slate, that would be a daunting task.
I'm kind of happy with where things are at and there's a lot more I believe I can achieve. I think I'm coming into a nice part of my career where there's a lot of experience under my belt and there's a lot of learning that's being done. I feel fresh, I feel healthy and I feel motivated, more importantly.
I've always said I'd like to be a Hall of Fame player, and I guess who makes that determination, I don't know, but that's kind of what I'm working towards. So is that two major championships and 20 wins? I don't know what it is. Olympic Gold will probably be kind of a nice bargaining chip when it comes to that.
But I've also heard Phil Mickelson say that the time to think about all that stuff is when you're done and you can really look back and enjoy all your victories. There's plenty more to achieve.
The minute you start to think about what it looks like when you retire is the minute you soften up a little bit. So my mind's not there. My mind is about just trying to get in the conversation, I suppose, and keep winning.
Q. Two weeks ago, if you were asked to give a letter grade to your season, what would it have been, and in the last two weeks what would it be?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I would have said -- you know, it would be a B-minus probably a couple weeks ago. Good solid year, Top-10 in the FedExCup, it was good. But no win, can't really give yourself much more than a B-minus for that. Now I'm probably at an A-minus with one putt at Augusta away from being an A-plus.
I've been very consistent this year. I've played a lot of good, solid golf and it just hasn't converted into wins. Now I've checked that box and now it begins to be a pretty good year.
Q. When you answered my question, you talk about experience. Do you think your experience that you got over the 20 years, would that -- if you didn't have that, would last week and this week have happened?
JUSTIN ROSE: I mean, end of the day it comes down to hitting the golf shots. Experience can't make you hit the shots. I just think that -- so yeah, it may well have happened. Hard to say. Really hard to say.
One thing I do know is that week-to-week, the golf course didn't know that I won last week. So I had to come here and build a whole new fresh body of work. The golf course doesn't know I'm 37 and I've been a pro for a bunch of time and the highest-ranked player in the field. The golf course doesn't care about any of that stuff.
So it's all about execution and it's all about building a whole new body of week every single week. So I never come into anything resting on my laurels that, okay, you've got good experience; you're going to get a result because of that.
No, you have to make it happen each week. So yeah, I would say it would have happened either way.
STEVE TODD: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on both victories.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports