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November 18, 2017

Justin Rose

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Q. Two 65s, it was brilliant for us to watch, what was that like to be part of?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, snuck up on us. The front nine was going along nicely. Both of us just stealing some birdies here and there. Jon started 5, 5 today so his 65 was unbelievable. But he never gave up. He stayed calm and made a lot of birdies obviously. He was pressing pretty hard to stay in touch with me. He said, it would be great to play with you in the final group tomorrow; kiss of death on 18.

But anyway, we had a great time out there. He's playing great golf. I think everybody played great golf today. I saw Tommy's name creep up on the board. It's brilliant. It's just so much fun and a ton of guys tomorrow. It's really condensed. One-shot lead with a pack like that behind you doesn't mean much. It's just going to be whoever comes out tomorrow and really plays well.

Q. You said you would do some extra work with your putting coach, Phil Kenyon. How much better did that feel today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, feel better. I think if I can continue that improvement tomorrow, I prefer that. Still a couple moments out there I didn't hit great putts, but that one at the last is a big confidence builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow.

Q. First time around when you won the Order of Merit in 2007, you had a big lead going into the final round and had to fight back to win. How much do you credit Tommy with his come back, 1-over after seven, slipping badly and made eight birdies in his last 11 holes.
JUSTIN ROSE: Did he? I had no idea how he shot 65 or whatever he shot. Yeah, that's unbelievable. Good for him. Saw him get to 11 and then all of a sudden he's at 13 and he was obviously making a nice charge.

Keeping it interesting. But like I said all week, I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. But if I slip up tomorrow, he's right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.

Q. You have the opportunity tomorrow to win three times in a row for the first time in your career and take with it the Race to Dubai. How excited about the opportunity?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, an opportunity, that's the way I'm going to look at it. Don't see much pressure on myself tomorrow. This is going to be a day just to go for it really and play well.

It's not going to be the kind of day where, say, ten years ago when I had a big lead just try to hang on. It's not going to be that kind of day tomorrow. There's going to be a lot of good players and it's going to be a day where you have to play good golf.

Q. The putting, was that the main difference that you shot that score?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think so. Played well yesterday. When I looked at my round yesterday, I feel like there were ten opportunities I didn't take during my round. Quite clearly there was a score out there yesterday, and I found that score today but a lot of guys found that score today.

The course was obviously there for the taking. The breeze has only picked up just now. I think we were waiting for this breeze all afternoon. It couldn't make its mind up which way it was going to go. We played in very calm conditions and only picked up really the second shot on the last hole. I heeled my 5-wood; should have been a good number for me. Just hit on the heel, spun up and came down in the water.

Good round of golf. Really enjoyed playing with Jon. A lot of birdies out there and it's going to be more of the same tomorrow.

Q. Your touch around the greens seemed to be good. You chipped in on 14 and from there you got out of trouble to give yourself a par opportunity on 18, as well.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, short game has been sharp this week. It's probably been the highlight of my week. Holed a bunker shot, a chip and got up-and-down numerous times.

Q. Chance of winning three tournaments in a row and The Race to Dubai, how much are you now looking forward to the final round tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's a great opportunity, isn't it. I'm certainly not thinking about being the leader because I think it such a condensed pack and someone tomorrow is going to have to play great golf to win. Someone is going to shoot in the mid 60s at some point who is within touch.

It's going to be a day where you're out there not paying too much attention to the leaderboard early in the round. You just have to put your blinkers on and play good golf.

Q. What things did you do well today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Chipped it, pitched it really well today. I have this new high-toe wedge in play and it's been really good this week. Kept me out of a bit of trouble, actually. I think the highlight was the pitch on -- well, chipped in on 13, and the pitch on 14 was one you're almost trying to keep out of the water but got it coming in soft.

So I kind of capitalised on some of the par 5s when I've been around the green and then saved myself when I've been off the green. Short game has been really sharp. Putted better than yesterday. When I looked at yesterday's round, there were ten opportunities I felt I didn't take yesterday, one way or another. Today was a bit sharper.

Q. You have an opportunity to win for the third time in your last three starts tomorrow.
JUSTIN ROSE: Is that the same as three in a row?

Q. We'll go with that. What has been the difference of you being a great player to an excellent player?
JUSTIN ROSE: A little bit of hunger, motivation. I think the FedExCup started all that. Obviously you have an opportunity when you're playing for four times' points and you can come back and challenge and have a really good PGA TOUR season. I did, but I didn't get the win on that tour which is what I needed to be really relevant in the Playoffs, but it came soon after.

I've been looking for it for a while. I've been working hard on my game all summer. Sometimes there's a lag effect before results really come around. When you have a hot streak like that, yeah, sure, just keep it going as long as you can.

Q. With everything that's online tomorrow, how do you mentally prepare as the leader heading into the final round?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I see myself as a leader, but I see it as a one-shot thing. Is there much point putting too much pressure on yourself when you're one ahead of a tightly-packed leaderboard; it's about playing good golf tomorrow.

With a one-shot lead, there's no strategy. It's just about playing well tomorrow. Obviously that starts now. That starts resting up this evening. That starts with the recovery that I need to do to come out and be sharp and fresh tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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