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October 11, 2018

Justin Rose

Newcastle upon Tyne, England

JUSTIN ROSE: It kind of was a funny day. I actually felt like I had the opportunity to play well. I felt like I came out of the gate swinging pretty well. I hit the first five or six greens in regulation, was doing -- I was staying out of trouble. Putter wasn't behaving, which kind of didn't get any momentum going early, and then just ran into some trouble around the turn. But battled as hard as I could to keep it respectable today, and sometimes that's all you can do.

Q. Just a quick word on being host this week, the field that's assembled and how much you're enjoying the experience?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's been a funny week. I haven't quite been able to prepare as I'd like. I've been a bit under the weather early in the week, but I feel much better now, now that golf has started it's just great. Yeah, proud of the field. Great to have a bunch of the Ryder Cup guys here, and everyone is riding high on that success, so to have a few of the Ryder Cup team here is amazing, and just, yeah, the venue has been phenomenal. It's really fun to play that golf course today. It's a tough golf course, and it was -- although the score wasn't great, it was a fun day to try and get around there in challenging conditions. Wind was blowing pretty much all day, and every shot is a premium shot on this golf course.

Q. Probably not the score that you would have wanted to sign for, but in all the circumstances, what's the verdict?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think actually the verdict was I felt pretty comfortable with my game funnily enough, or certainly the way I was swinging it. The putter was the problem today. I think that's maybe just the fact I haven't spent any time on the putting green all week. Just not feeling great, and obviously there were some other activities I had to kind of do this week. But yeah, I think, like I said, coming out of the gates early this morning, gave myself some birdie opportunities I wasn't able to take, and then around the turn just ran into some trouble momentum-wise and made a bunch of bogeys in a row there. Four hard, and I had three in a row there to try and get back -- I set myself a mini-goal when I got to 4-over of trying to get back to even by the end of Friday. I know the weather is really tricky again tomorrow with wind, so I felt like that might keep me just in decent enough shape for the weekend to mount a challenge.

Q. And in terms of your health, how are you feeling?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, feeling fine. It's just been a -- yeah, I feel like I'm through the worst of it now, and now it's just time to sort of build some strength again.

Q. One final thought from me. This must be a very proud week I would have thought.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it is. It's obviously -- my picture is everywhere, and obviously hosting a tournament of this stature is a huge honour, really. Big moment in my career, as well. Yeah, it's forced -- walking to the first tee, there's sort of a collage of all of my achievements through the years, and it just makes you think when you're in a situation like this, it kind of makes you look back over your career and think how I've played in order to be in a position to host an event like this. So yeah, fun week from that point of view.

Q. You looked when you exited stage right as if you were going to be ill straightaway.
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, it's been four days of not feeling great. I feel like I am through it now, and obviously I'm sure, but thank you. (Laughter.) I'm probably just low on energy from that point. I haven't been able to eat a square meal really for the last few days. Anyway, last night we got feeling much better, and I actually felt good out there today, but not a lot of confidence. I normally eat a ton on the golf course, and I just kind of -- yeah, I knew I would be fine today, but just didn't want to push it on the course today.

Yeah, it's been the only sort of downside of the week. Actually I played awful in the pro-am yesterday, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect with my long game today, but I felt like I actually hit some quality shots today and feel like there's something to build on going into tomorrow.

Q. You said there were a lot of three-putts. Was that the energy level as much as anything?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, concentration for sure. I think that's what was the trouble today. I wasn't seeing the line that well, and obviously the pace, as well. I think they've tried to slow these greens up just a little bit because of the wind, and they may not have even cut them today. I look back in my mind, I was trying to be positive with my putting, but kind of hit a few too firmly and missed the ones coming back. Yeah, obviously haven't kind of clicked into the week focus-wise as well as I would have liked.

Q. Did you hit the wall after the emotional Ryder Cup and everything?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's easy to -- I don't think I -- well, yeah, I think last week, yes, I think this is the body's way of just sort of coming down. I had a few days off last week. When you stop -- you guys know when you've been busy and you go on holiday, that's often when you start to not feel great for a few days. It's just one of those situations. But I feel like I'm bouncing back now, but hopefully it's not too late. Obviously in order to play well in a tournament, a lot has got to happen. It takes preparation on the front end. I've definitely been behind on the preparation side, but I knew shooting 74 on the first day clearly is not the start I was looking for. But hopefully I can at least play for pride certainly the rest of the week and see what I can get out of it. But I'm really enjoying the golf course. This is why I wanted to play here. Even though it was a struggle for me today, that's what I loved about this course is that you need to be on -- every part of your game needs to be working well.

I feel like this course will force me into getting my game going well.

Q. It's a classic British course, isn't it.

Q. Got the feel of the World Match Play?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. I love the way it's playing in the wind today because there were so many opportunities to hit 2-iron off the tee. You could hit driver. Yeah, there were options off every single tee today, which is fantastic, apart from the States where we play to a number and it's quite obvious what we have to hit off the tee. In our group, I was hitting driver when guys were hitting irons and I was hitting irons when they were hitting drivers, so it's very much how you see the hole. That's what I love about it.

Q. Would it be a pity if you were the last host of this?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, yeah, because I think, obviously with guys like Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey hasn't had a chance and Matt Wallace, all the young English, British players coming through, it's a nice opportunity to spread it around.

Q. With everything going on this week, sort of getting back to world No. 1, is that actually in the back of your mind?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think so. I know it would be lovely, obviously. I know I have to obviously pretty much win the tournament in order to do that. Yeah, it's not something that -- I've got there this year and it's not something I'm sort of desperate to have to end the year on. It would be nice, but I know that I'm going to have to get back there by playing well, so I just focus on that.

Q. And defending, as well?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. Exactly. Lots to sort of forge through the next month. I also feel it's a moment, it's a time of the year I'm just trying to get through the next month, as well, so trying to get a chance to rebuild and refocus going into next year.

Q. Are you going to close down after Dubai?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, the hero, and then I'm playing Indonesia. As of right now, I'm not playing Dubai, so that gives me four weeks, which is pretty much my off-season because I'm starting in Hawai'i the first two weeks of January.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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