home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 6, 2019

Justin Rose

Orlando, Florida

MARK WILLIAMS: We would like to welcome World No. 2, Justin Rose to the interview room here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. The current FedExCup champion. Thank you for joining us. We know that you're a tournament ambassador this week but we'll get into that a little bit later. Let's talk about so far this season, you've already won, we haven't seen you very much but since the Farmers Insurance Open. Talk about coming here, back to the Arnold Palmer Invitational and playing at Bay Hill.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. So very excited to be back out. I had four weeks off at home, just purposefully just sort of putting some gas back in the tank. Really sort of counter acting a lot of travel and the back end of last season and certainly winning in San Diego kind of helped make that little break feel justified in a way. It's always nice to, it's tough to take time off when you're way behind on the FedExCup and guys are earning points left right and center but to get those points under the bet early in the season made this time off, this planned time off feel a little less sort of stressful in a way. But it was needed and I practiced hard the last couple of weeks and I'm really excited to be here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational to really get the season, I'm into a run of golf now and obviously culminating in it's always you put things in chunks and in spells and obviously I feel like there's a block of work starting now for me that starts this week and kind of culminates at Augusta.

MARK WILLIAMS: Jump straight into questions.

Q. Along with your schedule can you talk about what the next few weeks kind of looks like and was that the idea all along that you wanted to sort of carve out this chunk to get the rest?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I always had February as going to be down month for me. I knew I wasn't going to do much on the West Coast. Unfortunately Honda probably took the hit of me winning in San Diego, that was the one where I stretched out the break a little bit longer than I otherwise would have. I was maybe planning on coming back last week. But like I said having those points on the board just made it feel like a really significant break and something that hopefully I will gain a benefit of not necessarily this week but at some point in the summer. There's big events coming all the way through until August now and so that was the intention really is to sort of build in a bit of a buffer. But so this week PLAYERS week, Match Play, haven't played the Match Play the last few years but I'm going to play that, and then have the week off to tune-up before the Masters.

Q. First of all, Arnold Palmer is such a not a Major but it has its own kind of prestige to it. What does it mean to you as a player and also how do you feel about the extra star studded field we have this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think obviously it's fitting to have a great field to honor obviously Arnold Palmer's legacy and what this event has become. It's, I love the way it's called Orlando's signature event and I think the local community do really, really support it. From a players point of view it's a nice crowd to play in front of. It's got energy but they keep it very respectful and it's one of my favorite places to play. Any time I've played tournaments that are hosted by a legend of the game you can't help but -- I had the opportunity to win the member mother ideal and you can't help but look for Jack looking up the 18th hole. The same for Arnold Palmer here. When you play late enough on Sunday there's always that moment where you look for him on 18. Obviously he's not going to be there in person anymore, but it takes a great person to be there in spirit. I think that that's, that's, this tournament feels like that he's still here very much so in person and I think that's due to the family and obviously Arnold Palmer's brand and how they keep that legacy going.

Q. How much is Augusta on your mind and as you near Magnolia Lane do you start practicing differently, do you start adding different things into your practice on the range?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not so much. It's obviously on the mind for sure. It's about how do you kind of keep your game fresh and sharp and ultimate he will how do you peak there. You want to play well every week and I think it's really important to try to be in contention once or twice heading into the Masters to see if you feel like everything is where it needs to be. Putting is the one area that you do try to find surfaces, I'll be sort of talking to my guys at Albany and saying okay, are there a couple of greens that you can pretty much brown out and 50 percent kill so they're fast enough to practice on heading into the Masters and they will do that. They do a great job of trying to replicate as best they can. So when I do go home on my weeks off I have opportunities to practice as similarly as possible. I'll ask them to find pin placements there are two and a half, three percent slope. So I really start to see the ball breaking into the cup. Its some of those visuals that are tricky to just click right into if you haven't prepared for.

Q. There's obviously been a lot of noise over the last few weeks about the new rules and the implementation of the new rules. What's your thoughts on that? Has everything been done reasonably in your mind or do you think there could have been differences or improvements made?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think that sometimes there's always a sort of a teething period with any change and I don't know how you get around that. If there would be a grace period are you playing under the new rules but they're not really in affect that would feel just as weird I would think and I would probably have the same criticisms of that if that was the case. So I think it's just about an adjustment period, I think all the guys are we're just so well ingrained into seeing it a certain way. I think for me if you think about why they have been made they make sense but I just think the esthetic of them is looking so strange to us still that it's easy to second guess why they're being implemented. I think we're all creatures of habit and it's just going to take some time to get over them, I think. But yeah, I mean I don't think too deeply into whether they're better or worse. Basically at testing. Putting with the pin in, I can't get my head around that, dropping from knee length is way more difficult than it should be, it feels like you're dropping from your ankle, the knee is really, really low. So it's something we got to get on with and obviously it's easy to get caught out, there's some subtleties obviously and the thing is the rules are written in a way and Haotong Li situation the rules are always going to throw out, no matter what the rule is, there's always going to be areas where someone's close to the rule and where do you make that determination of, yes, that's a rule violation or not. No matter what the rules are you're always going to, there's always going to be that situation that comes up.

Q. During your 15 plus years on TOUR has the competition for the top spot ever been this close and volatile?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really because I think the 15 years mainly that I've been on TOUR Tiger's had that pretty locked up for sure. There's within some big leads at times in the world rankings and even D.J. has been pretty unstoppable at the top most of last year and what have you. But, yeah, at the moment obviously there's three or four of us that are vying for it and if one guy plays well a certain week, he can take that top spot. Which is nice. I think it's good to have that competition for the top spot. I think it's always nice though that people like to have a you know disputed No. 1 and I think it's can be confusing for people when someone takes a week off and then the device source change and the points are always should have shuffling about and someone can retake the top spot by not playing. Obviously we understand why that happens and how that happens and for me it's a very simple metric is that you just have to play well when you play. That obviously takes care of business. But it's been a fun little shuffle to be a part of and although aim No. 2, actually being No. 2 right now, yeah, that's motivation to get back to No. 1 you really enjoy being there. You get comfortable being there. But at the same time it's not a pry Merrick real estate focus for me this year. I think I need to focus on the winning part of things, which ultimately takes care of the ranking.

Q. Rory McIlroy defending champion here has played some pretty good golf this year, but has not won and has not won since this tournament last year. Is it surprising somebody only as talented as Rory has trouble breaking through and winning more?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well actually I played with Rory in the final round last year when he won and it was obviously, I was right there and we were having a pretty good tussle down the stretch and he chipped in on 15 and that was sort of the little turning point there. But it's always good to see Rory win. He makes winning look good. He's obviously got that type of game that when he wins it looks so easy that you think, why aren't you doing this week in week out but we all know that golf isn't that way. There's many aspects that go into winning it's not just looking comfortable on the golf course or swinging the club beautifully, you got to make putts here and there and he ran into D.J. obviously in Mexico, when you look at he shot 17-under par, maybe 16 in the end but third place was 11, so that's clearly he's played well enough to win a golf tournament, it's just you run into the wrong guy on the wrong week. So he's doing a lot of good things and if I was Rory I would basically be telling myself to be patient and keep focusing on what I'm doing and keep creating the chances but one win in 12 months is not going to be acceptable for Rory, for sure. But it's always -- great thing about Rory which when you're competing against him is not the great thing but when he's questioned and he kind of somehow snaps into a gear and proves a lot of people wrong. He's done that through his career a couple of times. So I'm going to be careful about saying too much.


Q. When the new schedule came out a lot was made of these events from March through August and the flow of the new schedule, what's the emotion for you now to be playing in these events as opposed to just talking about what they're going to look like?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'm very excited for them. Hence taking a built of time off maybe sacrificing a few points here and there to be ready for this run. I realize what's at stake now the next four, five months of the year. You really like the flow of the schedule to be honest with you. I've always been a fan of the PLAYERS championship being in March and I like the fact that's everything finishing and tied up in August before football season and all of that starts. It's going to be interesting to have the PGA Championship in May and see what the golf courses are like up in Bethpage in May. But I think I really like it. I'm excited about that flow. One big event every month and something to really get your teeth into.

Q. Only missed this tournament once in the last 10 years or so, why do you like playing it?
JUSTIN ROSE: I like the style of if golf that it requires. There's really no way to fake it around Bay Hill. The rough's pretty thick. Generally the greens are quit firm which requires pretty pin point iron shots. There's enough trouble out there that mentally it's a challenge. You have to really commit Tour shots. There's a lot of I guess intimidating looking golf shots out there on this golf course. The greens have been good and hometown. I slept in my own bed a lot. Which is fun. Not the case this year, but I think, yeah, just, it's a horses for courses type of situation for me and I think the winning score I like. It's, you don't feel like it's a putting competition around here. You can play strategic golf, which is what I enjoy.

Q. Speaking of horses for courses, as you build a schedule during the year how much of it do you look at flow or timing and how much of it do you look at the course and kind of a den did you mean to that, have you ever gone back to a tournament where you felt like the course didn't really suit you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for example I played Palm Springs this year because I felt that didn't suit me particularly but it was really important for the flow of what I needed to do. I needed to come out, needed to break off some rust. I had an equipment change I thought that the desert was going to be the best place for me to try out a few things to get a good read on my game. Fortunately this year it then paid off the following week in San Diego, but going back to first part of your question, I would say it's a 50/50 flow versus the golf course. I believe I can play any golf course and play well at any golf course, so I don't have a hard and fast rule that I have to play here versus here. But at the same time I have my favorites and places I've done well and then I like to play, I like to have spells at certain times of the year where I am playing three in a row. And I like to take two week breaks occasionally. So I don't play more than three in a row generally, so, yeah, when you kind of have those parameters and then also you put the Major championships in and you think okay how do I peak for the Majors, it's a process of elimination, really more than where you want to play. It's like, okay, I need to be fresh for this, so therefore that's out and I want to play no more than three in a row, so these become the obvious choices, so I would say it's 50/50 course and flow.

Q. Did you have a philosophy on playing a week before the Majors?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've changed, I've done it both ways, I suppose. This year is a year that I'm decided to I can at that the week off before the Majors. Just based on various reasons really and a little bit more scheduling the way things have planned out. But Houston I really enjoyed playing that before Augusta but I'm not really willing to risk going to a new venue that could be very windy and a much tougher test of golf before the Masters. I felt like Houston was manageable, you don't want to be working too hard to certain if you know what I mean. You want to draft your way into the Major rather than kind of grinding your way into the Major.

Q. It was about the Houston Open, how disappointed were you when that sort of, because it was a very successful tune-up for you wasn't it?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it was. Yeah, it's obviously it's a nature of how things go sometimes on TOUR but, yeah, absolutely. So I'll take a close look at how Valero is the week before now I'll have a close look at how they set it up and could be a good option for me again in the future possibly but I just I wanted to not be surprised at something when I went there. So rather than -- ideally you want to try and control as many variables as I can. But it's not to say I won't ever play it in the future. But yeah Houston I knew what I was getting into, I liked the way they set it up, it was a good lead up.

Q. When you take four weeks off how disconnected from the TOUR are you really? Is there a tiny part of you that kind of looks and says oak look there's D.J. he's won again or oh look there's Koepka, he's playing well again?
JUSTIN ROSE: I generally look at the PGA TOUR app on the Sunday and then if it's getting interesting I might watch the last three or four holes of the telecast to see what's going on. I think more than that, not really. Sometimes it gets to Friday and I'm like oh, I wonder who is doing what. And then I quickly check in possibly. But yeah, I think the weeks tend to go really quickly when I'm at home so sometimes you lose track of what day is what and but for me I like to watch golf when I can get an insight into the competitors that I'm facing and really you only learn that down its stretch on a Sunday so that's when I tune in just to see how guys are handling it and the business end of things.

Q. I know you're good friend of Henrik, can you describe that friendship and follow-up how much time do you get to spend together nowadays where you're not living at Lake Nona?
JUSTIN ROSE: He's become a great friend, I really value his, the way he lives his life, obviously he's a great family man and our family have got close to his family. We have both got kid of relatively similar ages. I actually played with Henrik in my last event in Saudi and I'm actually paired with him again this week. I'm using his old caddie, Lordy, so there's a, we have obviously done so well in the Ryder Cup together we play a very similar game in certain ways tee to green especially. But his sense of humor, his dry sense of humor I think is once you get to know him he's a very funny individual, but he's a real pro as well and also he's been through ups and downs in his career and he's had to handle both he's handled both just as well as each other. So a lot of respect for him and his family and yeah we miss being neighbors with him for sure but we do see them down at Albany quite a bit and last summer, we holidayed with them in Sweden so we get our moments to hang out away from the golf course.

MARK WILLIAMS: We appreciate your time:

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297