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June 1, 2018

Justin Rose

Dublin, Ohio

Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN ROSE: Today was good. It was nice to get back into the hunt. I felt coming into Thursday I was struggling to catch my breath a little bit in terms of preparation and settle into the week. And the two days, it was nice to see the family, put me one half a day behind in terms of preparation. But slept well the last couple nights and feel refreshed. That was a big round for me today. Got off to a good start. Yesterday I felt like I played really well actually and got nothing out of the round, today it probably wasn't as good, tee-to-green, but got a lot out of the round. So really scrambled well coming in, really good up-and-down on four of my last. I had to up-and-down it on four of my last five holes and managed to do to do so.

Q. What's the key after you win? Is it tough to refocus?
JUSTIN ROSE: When there's an atmosphere like that on the golf course, you're forced to focus, you're forced to, it gets you right back up, to be honest with you. This is a big tournament, it feels like a big tournament, great crowds out there. So I think that it's not too hard to pick yourself back up after last week. I think that I'm trying to view things long-term as well. When you chase your first win, it's a big relief after that. I feel like that was a really nice win, but it's not hopefully going to define my season. It may, but that's not the goal right now, the mindset. So as much as I enjoyed it last week I still got the eye on some other prices.

Q. The last two holes you got yourself in a little bit of a jam, worked out of it. Just how big was it for you to do that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah that was big. To say I finished 5, 5, I would come off the golf course thinking I squandered an opportunity to be right in there for the weekend. The leaderboard is stacked with players playing well, but this course is offering low scores, so I think even if I would have come in at 5-under I would feel like I could go out there tomorrow and post something. But each shot is so hard earned out there, you don't want to give them away.

Q. When the is the last time you saw Tiger strike it this well?
JUSTIN ROSE: I played with him at Bay Hill this year and he looked just as good then on the Saturday that we played. But he was taking flag sticks out today which was cool. It was fun to watch. He really he should have been four better than he was. He should have, could have, would have. He should have been four better. But he played really, really well today.

Q. How did the weather delay affect you?
JUSTIN ROSE: I was cognizant of it and I wanted to come out and just, the crowd got really rowdy after a rain delay, you know? Sit out there and have a couple beers, right? So when you come back out, the energy is very different and I was very aware of that and I tried to really get focused up and try to put the distractions to one side. So I think I made some progress. I sort of set a mini goal of trying to play the last six in 3-under. I managed to shoot 1-under. But it was a good 1-under in the end, the way I hit the ball.

Q. What's the pecking order of prizes when you sit down and look at the season ahead of you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Wish list, you mean? Beginning of the year goals? Major championships, obviously. Start there always. Never try to prioritize them. Beggars can't be choosers, man, you take whatever comes along. Augusta you prepare for clearly longer than the others because you have more time to think about it. The Open Championship would be a dream, obviously, being a British player. So those are the goals. And then FedExCup catches your attention once that's all said and done. And then it's Ryder Cup. So there's so many little goals to try and stay fresh for this year.

Q. Did your attitude about the U.S. Open change before and after? Was it any different before Merion? Has it been different after, do you think?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, no, I prepared the same way for all of them since I won it.

Q. Thinking enjoyment level.
JUSTIN ROSE: Oh, do you ever enjoy U.S. Opens? Enjoy winning them. If you win, you love it. But, yeah, I think that, I don't rest on my laurels, really. I look at Curtis Strange and Hale Irwin, I look at guys who sort of made their career out of winning U.S. Opens, so I feel like it suits my game. So any time you go in there, there's a sense of urgency to get another one.

Q. Do you feel like you and Tiger were able to feed off each other the way you were making birdies and that, or was it a separate entity?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think it's separate. You play your own game out there, for sure, but I was watching. I was enjoying watching him put his round together today. He was hitting his irons really well, and I was trying to feed off it a little bit. I haven't played enough golf with him where I can really work off his game, but I haven't played two days with him until today. I figure I'm half a club shorter with him with my irons. I was kind of working on par-3s, looking at what he was doing, trying to make decisions off of that. We have a very similar strategy out there. We hit 3-wood on a lot of the same holes, we work our way around the golf course in a similar fashion, so there's that, I suppose.

Q. The defending champion, Jason Dufner, he had a tough couple of days. What's the vibe like when two of y'all are playing pretty good and the third guy is just out there kind of trudging?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think you'll have to ask him that. It's hard for him, when guys aren't making birdies, he knows there's a score out there. Yeah, he played well, the putter just was really cold on him. It wasn't like he was taking drops and in the rough. He was playing nice golf, he just wasn't converting it into a score.

Q. What do you attribute to playing what you described as your best golf of your life at this stage of your career?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I attribute it to looking forward and thinking I've got the best ahead of me. So just continually working on little aspects of my game, continually investing in myself, and, yeah, so I guess by looking forward and enjoying it is why I've been playing my best golf. But hopefully it's not my best golf, it's just my current best golf.

Q. What was the degree of difficulty on your third shot on 17 down by the creek?
JUSTIN ROSE: It was tough but it was also, it was a sort of a feeder pin. The only sort of unknown I had, it was very hard to visualize exactly how high it was going to come out of the lie I had. It was a very good lie down there and I there was a tree and so in some ways I had to try and not hit it high over the trees, which is a weird feeling for a lob shot. I was trying to use that back board, I tried to actually play it probably six to eight feet further right, but my ball came out just a little left because of the grass. And I knew that the green ran out, Jason hit a shot, similar shot, but it ran out. If you get caught up there, then you're looking at double. But when it came off the club face I knew I was bringing the back edge into play but fortunately it lucked out.

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