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June 15, 2018

Justin Rose

Southampton, New York

THE MODERATOR: Justin Rose, even par 70, plus 1, 141 for the Championship.

Q. Justin, obviously, not the way you want to finish on those last two holes. But is it a round you say I'll take it and you're in the hunt?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's a round I'll obviously take. Shooting 70 around here can come off disappointing when you've evened the par of this golf course. There was an opportunity today, though. We got incredibly lucky. About half of the draw got very lucky with the weather today.

I began to sort of get flag hunting around 5, 6, 7, and my last few holes. I really felt like I was more interested in birdies than I was kind of hanging on. Obviously, the three-putt on No. 8 was disappointing. It was kind of a bit of concentration just sort of seemed to go there the last couple of holes. I felt it got very distracting. I felt the crowds were thinning out. Everybody was on their way home. There was a lot of movement off the ball. Shadows were lengthening. There was a lot to deal with coming down the stretch. I wasn't able to deal with it very well.

But that bogey, bogey is frustrating now. But once it's all said and done tonight, once everybody has tapped in, I'll reevaluate and look at my position and think I'm in a great spot going into the weekend.

Q. Looking at the difference between Dustin and the field, do you still feel like everybody is just crunched right there in position to attack if he slips some?
JUSTIN ROSE: You just saw what happened to Ian Poulter five minutes ago. That could happen to D.J. I'm not saying it's going to, but it could. That's the nature of the U.S. Open. So hang around is often the best form of attack.

Yeah, so I feel like we kind of keep waiting for this course to firm up and get really, really tough. I think there was a score on today -- it was Brooks, I think -- I noticed, didn't he get 7 or 8 over par for the tournament and he's back to 1?

Yeah, so it's hard to find them, but it is doable out there. I hit my first share of good putts and good shots today, and I felt like I had seven or eight putts that curved around the top edge of the hole and finished behind the hole but just tiny bit different speed and they would have dropped.

So I felt like six or seven chances slipped by for me. It's out there to be had. I'm not sure how quickly this golf course can change heading into Sunday.

Q. In case the weather is sunny over the next two days, do you feel there's enough moisture in the course now that you can be a little more aggressive?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think tomorrow maybe still a little bit, yeah. It changes pretty quickly from the morning to the afternoon. By the time we get to Sunday afternoon, I think it can disappear pretty quickly, that moisture.

I was looking, just when I was signing my card and looking at some of the memorabilia around the clubhouse, I kind of really noticed there were pretty good scores for the first three rounds basically in '04 and whenever Corey won, '95, and Sunday seemed to get tougher for everybody. So that seems to be the trend of this golf course.

Q. These two days -- yesterday, really tough conditions. You said you guys maybe had it a little bit easier in the afternoon. Morning was still tough out there. To be in the position you're in right now, and considering what you've been playing this year, do you feel very confident?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's job done really the first two days. You can't win it through two rounds. Even if I had a six-shot lead right now, I'd be thinking the same way tomorrow. It's just about put one foot in front of another. We add it up after 72 and see where we're at. But, yeah, I think this is a great start and a good position to build the week from.

Q. Justin, you were telling me about the first time you made a hole in one, what was it like, how old were you, what club did you use?
JUSTIN ROSE: I believe I was 8 years old. I was playing Tylney Park Golf Club, which is my first little home club. I had about -- I'm guessing a little bit now -- 130 yards, holed a 4 iron. One bound straight in. It's a cool feeling. It's like a surreal feeling when you see the ball disappear. It's obviously exciting, especially for an 8-year-old.

Q. I know you said you were happy with how you played today. Like you mentioned, there were opportunities for birdies here and there. Do you view it more as a blown opportunity to close the gap on D.J. or one you can take going forward?
JUSTIN ROSE: It is what it is. I cannot focus -- I can't change it, so there's no point dwelling on it, honestly. I'm very happy with the position I'm in. The four shots mean nothing at this point. It's about who's going to go out and play the best golf on the weekend. Four shots can happen so quick, change so fast.

Even if I was four back going into tomorrow, I'd love my position. So we'll just see how it plays out.

Q. Thank you for your time.
JUSTIN ROSE: All right.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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