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June 16, 2018

Justin Rose

Southampton, New York

Q. Over the line? On the line? Borderline? Where was the course today?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, I've never seen -- I'm going to answer it diplomatically because I've never seen a golf course change that quickly. I was saying to the guys out there, from yesterday afternoon, I played late, and it was calm and obviously from the rain previous in the day, we were struggling to get putts to the hole yesterday afternoon.

And I didn't know that Shinnecock had SubAir. So, you know, I've never seen a course change so quick.

Q. Even from when you teed off in the morning?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I feel like it was on the line, and I think that had they known it was going to get so much on the line, I think some of the pin placements were over the line. I don't think the course was necessarily over the line, but pin placements relative to speed and firmness on a couple of occasions, that was the edge. The edge was reached.

Q. Daniel Berger said that -- and he had a good round, but he said of 18 holes, he didn't think there was one gettable pin and his round just resulted from a bunch of putts falling. Does it come down to that tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, yeah, Retief Goosen would suggest that's the way this course does play. You've got to putt well around here, and you've got to putt creatively. I was playing so much break around the cups today. You've just got to trust it. There are many putts from six feet that you're playing a foot of break.

So that's pretty -- and on greens that are obviously less than perfect as well. I mean, they're poa annua greens that in the afternoon are getting very trampled and packed down. So speed is really, really key on your putts.

Q. Is it harder mentally or physically?
JUSTIN ROSE: Mentally, I think. You feel like you're the only one making mistakes. Clearly you're not. You always look at the leaderboard and see everyone's struggling. It's hard mentally to keep it together.

Q. Given the fact you're in the same position you were at Merion, what do you think you learned there that will come in handy tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, very rarely can you just replicate the same mindset and it pays off. I haven't really framed it yet in my mind how I need to approach tomorrow. But on this golf course, it's patience, it's commitment, it's choosing your times to be aggressive. You just have to play great golf out here.

Even to make pars -- today you needed to take great golf shots to make par. 14th hole, for example, you have to hit the high, perfect holed iron shot landing ten yards short of the green to keep it on the green to then be able to have a 40-foot putt at the pin to two-putt.

So there were elements out there. 15, for example, I ended up making birdie there, but you had to hit the perfect iron shot to hit the green there. So playing safe golf is almost perfect golf at times. You have to have control of your irons, which is what I didn't have today. I hit my irons incredibly poorly. Very happy the way I scrambled out there. So I kept myself in it via the short game today.

Q. When you see guys shooting 83, 82, 81 out in front of you, what does that do?
JUSTIN ROSE: Makes you feel better (laughter).

Yeah, I mean, obviously, Henrik and I had a really, really strong front nine. We were both under par for the round through seven, eight holes. Played ourselves right into the tournament. I knew how difficult it was.

I saw Daniel Berger's round when he posted plus 3. I didn't realize Tony Finau did the same thing. I knew Daniel posted plus 3, and I was like -- when I saw the second green, I was like, man, Daniel's going to be in the hunt tomorrow.

So I knew Dustin was at what he was, 4 under, but I kind of knew that 3 over was going to be setting a pretty good mark in the clubhouse today.

Q. With conditions like these, is that any fun?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's a different kind of fun. If you look at -- I mean, Fulch, we come off pretty much shell-shocked. It's not fun, fun, but the crowd are having fun with it. So yeah.

Q. To shoot a 3 over, though, and be right there, it's testimony, first of all, how difficult the course is.
JUSTIN ROSE: Be careful what you wish for. We've all been asking for a real U.S. Open again. So I guess we got one for sure this week.

Just be interested to see how things are tweaked tomorrow. Be interesting to see if they -- you know, if USGA hit the accelerator and want it as tough as it was today or if things are backed off a little. I'm curious to see how tomorrow goes. Or if it's even possible with a dry, windy day, if it's just the nature of the golf course, the way it plays in the afternoon.

Q. How do you like your position going in tomorrow if you're only one back?
JUSTIN ROSE: Did Dustin bogey 18? He hits like six feet to two, didn't he? Whatever, that's that green, 12 feet. One back. I love my position. I said here yesterday, if I was four back going into tomorrow, I'd love my position. Just being within the right zip code, it gives you chance tomorrow.

There's a lot of us in the hunt tomorrow, though. It's a very condensed leaderboard. All great players as well, in and around the lead. It's going to take a special round tomorrow, but at least you have the opportunity.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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