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March 17, 2018

Justin Rose

Orlando, Florida

Q. 5-under today. You must be pleased.
JUSTIN ROSE: Really happy with that round, I kind of knew I needed something pretty good today to keep pace with the leaders. Obviously looking at the leaderboard the two guys out front have kind of stayed in it or from our point of view not gone too far ahead. So, yeah, I kind of knew that when I was, when I made a couple birdies around 12 and 13 I was really playing myself into the tournament for tomorrow. So very happy with that round.

Q. What do you take from last Sunday that you can use tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE: Oh, last Sunday, that was a great Sunday, really. I think that I didn't have my best stuff and I really hung in, hung in there, hung in there, and I was just waiting for the momentum to turn for me and it just didn't and I bogeyed 12 and 13 then. But I did so much hard work on the front nine to stay with it and so, yeah, I just didn't play that great last week. So today was the first day in a while that I've really played well, hit every shot solid today, and took the range form to the course today. So hopefully that bodes well for tomorrow.

Q. When is the last time you have seen the atmosphere at Bay Hill like this today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Never. Actually I finished second here, I don't know when it was, but Tiger won -- I think I played with him in 2013. Definitely played with him one day. But, yeah, maybe then, but I feel like there's a bit, people are more into this comeback this time around, I think. So it's fun to play out there, for sure.

Q. That atmosphere doesn't seem to bother you much, sometimes it does bother his playing partners, is it because you've dealt with it a bunch?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know, it focuses your mind. I was definitely more nervous today, sort of took me a hole or two to settle into my round a hundred percent. But just because there's more energy out there on the golf course. But like I said, I think that's, that for me, Ryder Cups or Major Championships, those are the types of atmospheres you got to play well in and I enjoy it, so it focuses your mind.

Q. Do you relish playing with a guy like Tiger just to kind of gauge your game? I mean the ball striking obviously from both of you.
JUSTIN ROSE: Listen, Tiger and I have always enjoyed playing golf together, I think. On the golf course he's fun to play with. He's a perfect gentleman to play with, always compliments good shots and kind of knows what competing is all about out there. I think he has no control about what goes on on the outside, that's the only part of it that makes it tricky. Playing with him as a person is a lot of fun.

Q. You started the or ended last season playing pretty well, obviously. Do you feel like you've gotten your game back to where it was before the break?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think so. I think when I look at I was three back in Tampa and finished four back in San Diego, are not playing well, it took a lot of confidence from that, that I can have kind of not my best weeks and still feel like I'm close to winning golf tournaments. Yeah, I've been looking for the extra gear for sure these last few weeks, but in some ways I feel like that's a good place to be, with the goal in mind playing well in three weeks. If I had my A game right now, it's kind of hard to hang on to it for another month. So I felt very content with where I'm at and what I'm working towards and today was a step forward for sure.

Q. Did you have to calculate all the air miles from the end of last year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Ignorance is bliss. I didn't want to think about it. I was surviving somehow, so just kept doing that.

Q. At your place in your career, is it figuring out the schedule, to make you make sure you're ready for big events, do you feel like you're as confident as you can be that you're doing the right things?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think that, I don't think there's ever a formula that will work for five years in a row. You always have to adapt. But I think that I'm probably, there's enough experience now to try and make smart decisions. But I think year on year you got to kind of adapt a little bit.

Q. When you're playing with Tiger, is there, are you so focused on your own game or can you take some, can you learn something from how he can grind out a score when he is not hitting his irons sharply or when his game is off. Like you were saying your game is off and you're still in the hunt.
JUSTIN ROSE: Well if you look at his stats right now that's what he's doing really well. I think he's playing very solidly, every shot comes off the club pretty square. And when he has missed greens he's chipping really, really well. So that's the part of his game that looks the sharpest to me. But with Tiger you always just watch his focus, really, I think, that's, for me, what he's been able to block out through his career I think is the most impressive -- and how he always makes the putt on 18. Those are like the little things, the intangibles. The rest of it is golf and golf swings and we can all do that part. So, yeah, just watching the mental side is always fun.

Q. You mentioned that you took the range form into the actual round today. I notice that you put countless hours up on the driving range. What restricts you sometimes to be able to perform like that?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think that when you're hitting ball after ball after ball every 20 seconds you're always adapting to the previous feel. So you kind of get into a groove. On the golf course -- I think that on the range you're just hitting to a number, you're just hitting a straight shot, with a full swing. So on the golf course sometimes you always are trying to fit it to a number and I feel like that impedes that free flowing swing. Because, like a 7-iron is not always the perfect club on the golf course, you're trying to take five yards off of it. And some of those reasons is why, if it was just basically swing away with a 7-iron, we would probably make better swings, but it's always trying to fit the swing to the number is why we make the mistakes sometimes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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