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March 18, 2018

Justin Rose

Orlando, Florida

Q. 67, 67 over the weekend. You kept yourself in it. But wow.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that was a fun day to be a part of. Obviously Rory turned on the burners there on the back nine. There was a couple little, I felt like I really played my way -- for me it actually felt a little like Tampa, a lot of par saves on the front nine, kept myself in it, was waiting for a bit of a turn, momentum to go my direction, and I kind of made it happen on 12 and then 14 for a birdie. But that's when I felt right in it. 15, I had a great look at birdie, he was left of the green, obviously he chipped in, I hit a good putt that didn't go in. But even with three holes to play I was telling myself that if there were three holes to make a come back on it would be those three. But obviously Rory played incredible golf and it was fun, yeah, great to see world class players do that. It was great to see him make putts -- well it's not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me -- but when he is making putts, he's incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.

Q. You have to be so happy with where you are this season, you're just building momentum.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah I'm finally -- I had a month off and I didn't play too well in Mexico, Tampa was a bit of a struggle, but got it going, and this week I feel like I really started to play good golf. Especially the weekend. So, very happy, I hit a lot of good putts today that could have dropped too, I putted well, actually. But could have been also a really special round as well. But, yeah, the margins are really small out here and I feel like I'm really, really close.

Q. Take us through your overall takeaways on the week and what your key things were?
JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously a very good week. 14-under par on this golf course is never to be sniffed at, I suppose. I got off to a really poor start on Thursday, getting 4-over. I thought it was a good omen for me. I won the U.S. Open from 4-over, I won at Congressional from 4-over, this week I was 4-over early, I was hoping that was a good sign. But certainly played well enough today to win, but obviously when you come up -- I would have taken 67 probably at the start of the day. It was a little breezy, it wasn't easy out there. But when someone plays a special round you just have to -- obviously Bryson 16-under too -- couple guys played really, really strong golf out there today and, yeah, no I'm not disappointed at all, really. I hit some really good putts coming in on 15, 16 and 18, but I wouldn't have taken any of those back, but, so, I felt my execution was really good today.

Q. Looking at where you started the tournament, you started with a triple bogey on your second hole and what you've done to come back since then.
JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly, just another good lesson, if you get off to a poor start just stay with it, just kind of trust that my game's good enough to put myself in position and in contention by Sunday, you kind of have to believe that and wait for the runs and good things are going to happen out there if you just kind of play the theory of large numbers, eventually it's going to swing in my direction. So it kind of happened, I got rewarded for that this week. Obviously I ended up shooting 69 that first day which kind of put me in the tournament. So all in all I think a lot of positives this week. I played really good golf this weekend the best I played all year.

Q. You're obviously grinding to try to win the title yourself, but at some point did you sit back and look at what Rory's doing on the back nine?
JUSTIN ROSE: I thought I was in it until 15. Really, really, really in it. Actually back I thought -- I liked my position on the 15th green. But when he chipped there I was three back -- and my putt didn't go in -- three back, three to play, obviously that's not a great spot, but kind of had 10 feet for eagle there and felt like I could have got one back and the 18th hole you kind of know here that it could be a two-shot swing hole. You feel like you can make 3 at 18 and the guy playing that hole with the lead, it's a really tough hole to close out with a 4. Obviously Rory made a beautiful three and a great iron shot and incredible putt.

Q. When is the last time you saw him putt like that?


Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he's playing well. But today he missed a few good chances early in the round and I think he just really stayed patient and got rewarded, didn't, obviously never doubted himself, which is key. He putted beautifully from the 6th hole onwards.

Q. What do you say to yourself when you're 4-over for the first six here on Thursday?
JUSTIN ROSE: I actually said to my caddy that I was going to win the tournament.

Q. You did say that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I said that to him. You might as well -- you got a choice at that point, you either get frustrated or you kind of believe that -- you sell yourself a story. It doesn't always work, but on this occasion it came close.

Q. Keeps you headed on the right emotional path anyway.
JUSTIN ROSE: Right. Exactly.

Q. Has it worked before?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I was 4-over at Merion when I won and I was 4-over at Congressional when I won. So I kind of hoped it was a good omen. Didn't quite work out.

Q. Trending for Augusta nicely, do you feel like?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'm really happy. I think just the way I hit the ball this weekend is the best I've hit it all year. Today I felt really solid with the blade. Yeah, really game's in a nice spot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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