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March 10, 2018

Justin Rose

Palm Harbor, Florida

Q. Best shot of the day.
JUSTIN ROSE: This ignited it for me. I was kind of getting a little frustrated, seeing the scores were decent. I needed something to happen. I made that one. I putted really, really well on the back-9. Every putt I had I thought would go in. Fun day.

Q. A lot of today's great players are too young to remember what it's like to see Tiger in the mix over the weekend. You're not one of them.
You've been in the mix with him, actually in the same group with him. What is the atmosphere like? How would you describe it to the audience?

JUSTIN ROSE: It's more of an atmosphere, more electric. Obviously we've been around him. Today, for example, when he crossed the golf course I think two, three times on the golf course our paths crossed and I was teeing off on 10, 11, he was playing 9. I was playing 8, he was playing 6. There's a lot more things on the periphery. He's so good at putting the blinkers on.

Q. Just continue, you talked about the comfort level which you had today compared to the first couple rounds. Just explain that.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I felt good in my game from the first hole. Yeah, first couple days there's sketchy stuff tee to green, like my 1st Round. And probably the most important round I played so far, hung in there and stuck with it. Very testing day.

But, yeah, to get in under par gave me something to build on. A bit more spot on my approach play, holing one at No. 11 was the highlight. Hit a lot more good quality iron shots today. Felt comfortable with the putter. All in all, things are moving nicely going into tomorrow.

Q. I know last week was your first week back after a bit of a off time. Does it take awhile to get back in the game mode?
JUSTIN ROSE: Sure. I think obviously I was coming off a really good run of form so I was coming into -- even last week in Mexico coming in there with confidence. I never felt like my game was with me.

Mexico is a hard place to find your game with altitude. The course offers opportunity but if you're not on, there's many so many other things to think about, distance-wise, it can be hard to focus.

It's been a nice progression through Mexico and into this week. I didn't decide to play a round of golf after a month off. I wasn't initially going to play here. I felt it was important to play rather than week on, week off, and just kind of get some momentum going.

Q. You finished 2017 so well. Does that give you an extra bit of confidence knowing you had that?
JUSTIN ROSE: I won three of my last ten tournaments or something. That's definitely a statistic I need to go into tomorrow with giving confidence.

Funny, in golf it feels like a long time ago I last won. Obviously it's not. I really remember that and all those good feelings. You can't get ahead of yourself.

The key to winning tomorrow is the guy that goes out there and respects his golf course, takes his chances when they come and commits to the shot. That's basically I'm going about as far forward as the first tee.

Q. Steve asked you about Tiger. Is there a different vibe on the golf course not just playing, but playing well?
JUSTIN ROSE: I was walking down the 6th and looked over to the 4th green. I said to my caddy, "Have you ever seen those crowds", 8 deep back there. It was a view that certainly wouldn't have been the same had he not been playing. He's on the leaderboard and challenging for the lead. Now makes it really exciting.

I think it's exciting to have him back for the casual golf fan but now the true Tiger fan gets excited. Our paths crossed on the golf course quite a few times today because there's a couple holes the way the course is laid out intersects where our groups were waiting for one another or vice versa.

Then the periphery of what goes on around the golf certainly makes it more mow chaotic. You feel it and hear.

Q. Would you rather play with him and have the chaos around you or would you rather be in front or behind him?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think the way it works best is if you're either with him or behind it. You play in group in front of him is probably the toughest because everyone is trying to gain a vantage point. I'll either be with him tomorrow or the group behind him. Should work out well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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