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February 1, 2019

Justin Rose

King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

JUSTIN ROSE: This course played really tough today. Actually I think the course is quite enjoyable in this breeze. It's a real challenge, and yeah, you've got to be pretty pinpoint with your iron play, what with the ledges the pins are on. But I just look back at really the first 12 holes yesterday really should have been 6-, 7-, 8-under par, and that gives you the sort of resilience and patience to deal with the conditions today. I think early I was on the cut line and working really hard to try and make the cut, and I hit a poor flier 9-iron out of the left rough at 14, which put me in an impossible position; 15, I hit a great shot in. I was told the cut was going to be 1-under, so I wasn't necessarily chasing that pin on 16, but that's a pin that when you're in the tournament, if you're 4-, 5-, 6-under par, you're very much more conservative.

The mistakes I made I felt were due to trying to chase the cut, and that doesn't happen if I get off to that -- or putted a bit better the first day. So I actually played really nicely day one. Today I felt not as good, but I think the mistakes were more because I was behind the 8-ball trying to get into the tournament.

Q. Is your next tournament not until Bay Hill?

Q. So obviously there's going to be a lot that's going to go on between now and Bay Hill. I guess Brooks could win here but probably not, you'll probably still be world No. 1 after this week, but are you expecting to still be world No. 1 by the time you get to Bay Hill?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I have points dropping, obviously, but I have divisors coming off, too, so my divisor will improve, so therefore my points average will still remain fairly strong, so the guys will have to play well, and I expect them to play well, those two, three players. That's not a goal of mine this year, to keep it all year. It's a byproduct of playing well. My goal is to win more and to win major championships this year. The world No. 1 is cool and I'm really enjoying it, but I'm not playing golf tournaments because I'm chasing points.

Q. There's mixed reviews about the greens out there. Do you think it's just the guys not playing well, they just complain about it?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, the greens are very tricky. They're very, very grainy, but I don't think they're a terrible surface generally. I just think maybe they have to -- this is a very new golf course, but I think in the summertime after going through very strong aerification processes, Verticut, a lot of top dressing to get as much grain out as possible, then they'll be a good surface to play on. I had no problem with the bunkers. I think the layout is quite good, and and just from a grain point of view, that can be worked out slowly through maintenance.

But they were very, very tough to putt on this week. I think you start to second-guess your reads sometimes. Sometimes you hit a putt and it snaps, and other times you go a little extra because of the grain and it holds up. It was kind of a bit of cat and mouse out there, but nothing that can't be fixed. Like I said, today I thought in the wind -- this is how this golf course plays. You have to get it in the morning and then you have to kind of battle it out -- that's why I was disappointed not to make the cut because I felt like you could make a run through the pack in the morning here tomorrow.

But enjoyable golf course. Yes, the greens over time I think will get that surface.

Q. You come in after winning in San Diego, you leave here, do you feel like there's anything you have to do with your game? Did you felt like there was anything you were missing or just one of those weeks where the ball didn't drop and you just move on?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'd go with the ball not dropping. I mean, even in Palm Springs, I finished 30th there, but my game felt good. I felt like I saw -- I said it earlier in the week in San Diego, I saw every aspect of my game, I saw encouraging signs in every aspect of my game in Palm Springs. The result wasn't there. Clearly the result wasn't there this week, but there's probably a few more factors in play this week. It's a tough journey over here, a day behind in preparation, but no, still feeling for the most part comfortable and happy with my game.

I always knew it would be a tough journey, and I think it's a tough journey to have to go back and play straightaway in the States, but one of the big reasons that we came to play here is it fitted my schedule really well. It got me a European Tour event under my belt early, and I knew I had a month off after it. So going through these time changes does take its toll. I've done a great job of it in the past, and I don't feel like it is a factor when I'm making my schedule that I shouldn't be able to play well in this environment, but it's definitely -- the decision was I knew I had time off afterwards. My whole schedule is about freshening up now for the Masters and being ready for that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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