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September 5, 2018
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Justin Rose into the Interview Room here at the BMW Championship.
He enters the week No. 3 in the FedExCup. I know you like the sound of that number, trying to stay inside the Top-5 heading to East Lake but just some comments on being here, Justin.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's great to be here. Obviously the Aronimink course I've enjoyed in the past. I haven't been here for a long time. It had some renovations since. I'm excited about this tournament, obviously excited about what's coming up.
I always feel that the Playoffs are an opportunity to play catch up if you haven't had a great year. Obviously if you have had a good year you want to kind of keep the momentum going, you don't want to see guys passing you with a couple of hot weeks.
So, for me, before you get to East Lake it's important to have had one good event to kind of solidify what's been a solid year to this point and, obviously, last week was that for me.
Obviously now I'd like to keep moving forward. Top-5 is great, top -- I'm not sure I get past Bryson. He's got a million points. Top 2 would be way better than Top-5. At this point you just statistically just trying to give yourself the best opportunity going into East Lake.
JOHN BUSH: You mentioned winning here in 2010. You also won at Merion in 2013. I know the Philadelphia area means a lot to you.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. Obviously the golf course doesn't know it this week, you can never kind of count on past victories or past performances but absolutely, I think there's always a bit of a feel good factor when you come back to an area, you enjoy it, invokes good memories but obviously as of tomorrow it's all about doing a job.
JOHN BUSH: Before we open up for questions, just recap your season, winning in Fort Worth and also HSBC. Really a good season for you at this point.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. I think obviously to win early pre the tournament of the year but obviously the HSBC was a fantastic start to the season. Got a bunch of points on the board, enabled me to really build a schedule that was going to enable me to focus on the Major Championships, and then to win at Fort Worth was fantastic. To win on a quality golf course like Colonial obviously adds something to a win and I think the style in which I won, the fashion in which I won there was kind of, for me, pleasing, kind of holding on to a four shot lead and keeping it throughout the day.
Lot of positives that week and that was probably the best ball-striking week I've had of the year. All in all, it's been a very, very solid year, tons of Top-10s, putted really well. Yeah, good consistency all in all.
JOHN BUSH: Questions.
Q. Justin, obviously your attention is on this week. The announcement the Ryder Cup team, just your reaction to filling out that roster and what you see.
JUSTIN ROSE: For sure. I think pretty much Paul is in and Henrik, going to be locks for the picks. There were a few -- guys with heart to do the team, Matt Wallace became part of the conversation and every credit to him. I just feel maybe he probably didn't have enough established relationships within a team.
He's kind of new, new on the scene so that would have been kind of an interesting introduction to the team but I think he just got to keep doing what he's doing and there will be many Ryder Cups in his future.
Rafa, I feel a bit sorry for Rafa. He fought hard the last few weeks, Ryder Cups is a big deal to him. He's a great competitor. Obviously he's a good friend of Sergio's, too. Bittersweet for him.
Thomas has obviously picked Sergio which I guess for me the fourth spot that was up in the air. He's gone with, you can say performance is temporary, class is permanent.
Sergio has tons of experience in the Ryder Cup. Thomas is banking that he's going to bring that enthusiasm that he often does to the Ryder Cup and it's all about winning points. I mean many players deserve a spot in the Ryder Cup team but no one is here to do anybody favors, either. It's about how can you assemble 12 guys to put points on the board when it counts on Friday, Saturday, Sunday in a Ryder Cup and Thomas obviously felt Sergio was more likely to deliver a point when needed.
Q. How familiar are you with the changes made here since you won?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not too familiar yet. I think obviously with the tight turnaround or even the Monday finish on a Thursday start here, I think a lot of guys chose to have a bit of a relaxing Tuesday. Very hot yesterday as well.
I came to work out on my game, chip, putted, got into the feel of the surfaces and the speed of the greens and that type of thing but I think, if anything, it's maybe slightly more gentle, a bit more room out there than when I last played in 2011. Fairways a little wider.
Going to be some new pin positions opened up with the greens. So today's job is going to be about really just understanding where those new pin placements might be and try and prepare as best I can to them.
Other than that, I think tee to green it's probably going to be -- occasionally the routing is the same. Maybe a touch easier possibly tee to green. I think the nuances are going to be understanding the changes in the greens.
Q. Any thoughts on how you might spend ten million dollars?
JUSTIN ROSE: Payoff some debts. You know, obviously it's a ton of money and I don't know. It's a nice thought to have. I'm not getting ahead of myself. I'll let you know October how we're doing.
Q. I know you're here, you focus on the FedExCup. With the Ryder Cup news, it's got to be hard not to think about it, it's kind of like knowing Christmas is around the corner.
Just talk about in the back of your mind kind of what's in the forefront now.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I think it's hard not to think about it, you're right, because the crowd, people coming out to enjoy the golf here, in Boston, in New Jersey and obviously this week in Philly. They're aware the Ryder Cup is around the corner.
Depending on who you're playing with out on the golf course, if you're playing with an American guy, there's often comments and that's kind of fun because everyone is beginning to get excited about it and obviously the Ryder Cup is one event that maybe transcends golf in terms of it really captures sports fans' attention as well as just golf's attention.
So, I think all of us obviously when we're playing tournament golf we're in a routine, kind of focusing on the BMW Championship this week. But away -- outside of the four, five hours you're on the golf course, of course, it becomes part of your thinking for sure.
Q. I'm not sure if you had a chance to listen to Thomas today but he must have mentioned experience about a thousand times when he was analyzing his picks.
Why do you think that is so important in a Ryder Cup to have experience?
JUSTIN ROSE: Just because there's no atmosphere like it. It's an atmosphere you can't really prepare for. It's an atmosphere you don't know how you're going to react until you've done it a couple things. That's really the only factor. It's a caldron like no other that we play in.
Q. The putting improvements this season, was it a technical change, something mental, better green reading? What did you do to improve your putting so much this season?
JUSTIN ROSE: Skill acquisition. Bunch of things. Skill acquisition for me is grown reading, how well I aim the putter, speed control. It's not being so much technical stuff.
I think I have a better understanding of what my tendencies are, my faults, you know, what I gravitate towards doing badly so I've been able to have a very simple process to keep those in check daily and I think yeah, my routines have been the same all year and how I practice and obviously on the golf course the mental side, you know, the routines I've had there have stayed the same.
I think when I switched to the claw-styled grip it took a lot away -- took away a lot of the tinkering that I found that I would get into, you know, with the conventional style grip, always trying to feel like the perfect stroke.
For me now it's griping it that way, takes away some of the -- my new sensations that I feel so simplified things and enabled me to focus on some of the other parts of putting.
You can have a perfect stroke and not make putts. So, the green reading, the speed control, all of that is a huge factor.
Q. How do you improve green reading?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's a hard one. Obviously the aim point technology that's come around and having an understanding of how to -- I don't really feel it too much with my feet.
I've gotten pretty good as seeing 1, 2, 3 percent slope and then every week I calibrate the speed of the green and gives my arm bend and one finger, two finger, three finger for the percentage of slope.
I call it my ballpark read. That's helped me not under-read putts and then from there I kind of just have to keep asking myself the question can I see it go in on that line and then it's all about laying down the visual. That's what it's going to look like to go in.
So, I have various strategies, always try to find where the straight is and understand which side is the straight I'm on. I have three, four different strategies that I can emotion employ to read a putt.
Q. Justin, have you gone back to Merion since your win there and if so, what did you do, did you play, what were the feelings if did you go pack?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yup. I'm actually a member of Merion, being back every year since. Try to make a trip every year just with some friends and walk down memory lane and the first time I went back I think I went back with about 8, 10 friends and the just had a good couple days and played Pine Valley.
Guys from the UK made it a bit of a golf trip. That was fun. They all came dressed in my final round outfit, white trousers, blue shirt. Slightly embarrassing but it was fun.
JOHN BUSH: What did you wear that day?
JUSTIN ROSE: I went in something different. They had everything ready for me hung up in a locker. "That's what you're wearing." It was a bit of a re-creation.
The club stuck the pin back left where it was for us on Sunday. Made it a special memory and it was fun to experience that with all of my close friends I've grown up since I was a young boy. But, you know, I enjoy going back every year.
I like to do it after the FedExCup, in October for me that's the favorite time of year to play golf. Fall golf is nothing better for me especially up here in the Northeast. It reminds me sweater weather. That's how I love to play golf.
It reminds me of how I grew up playing golf in the UK. I try to do it once a year. Trickier now with the course being renovated.
Q. Did they have you the membership list, have a handicap for you?
JUSTIN ROSE: That's a good question. I don't know. I am in the book and all that stuff. I probably don't have a handicap. It was a negotiation on the first tee. Can't lose that negotiation power.
Q. Justin, in 2011 3 of the top 4 hardest holes here were the par-3s. Can you talk about your process and your game plan approaching those holes?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I hear there's a new tee on 17. I need to check that out. Obviously first and foremost you want to try to keep the ball dry.
From memory, they put the tee up and the pin front left just over the water for Sunday, maybe. But, you know, playing down the stretch with a lead as I was in 2010, that's a hole you just have to get through. The tournament can swing for sure.
No. 8 down the hill, again, I think it's just -- it could be 5-wood. 2-something, 230, 240 hole. Could be 5. Depending on wind it could be any club in there. Those types of holes you're right.
Obviously I didn't realize 3 of the top 4 hardest holes were the par-3s. That's good information today and I'll go and assess the course based on that.
It means kind of make 3 and walk on.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Justin Rose, we appreciate your time. Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports