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


May 15, 2019

Justin Rose

Farmingdale, New York

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2019 PGA Championship here at Bethpage Black. I'm pleased to be joined by 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose. Thank you, Justin, for being with us, and welcome to what is your 17th PGA Championship of your career. Outside of maybe the outlier that was Augusta, you've had a heck of a spring here and have to feel really good about how you're playing right now.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for sure. I mean, yeah, definitely happy with it. But also kind of also working at it, as well. I think Charlotte was a nice bounce-back after Augusta for sure, and that was a good -- a week where I sort of worked hard at my game as well as was able to compete.

I had a good week at home this last week. I felt like the preparation that I put in for Augusta didn't go well, so I've tried to change it up a little bit coming in here. So I'm coming in a lot fresher. It's a golf course that I know quite well here. I've played in '09 and I played the two Barclays here, as well. So I felt like it was a golf course I didn't have to come up and research too much. I had some good notes in my yardage book.

So yeah, last week was about freshening up but also working really hard. Had all my team come down and practice with me at home. Feeling good, feeling ready, and looking forward to getting going tomorrow.

JOHN DEVER: It's been 100 years since Jim Barnes, Englishman, won this championship. There's a heck of a void going on. Is it time for it to end?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that is a long time. Obviously there's been some great English players since then, obviously, Sir Nick Faldo being the top of the tree, but guys have gotten to No. 1 in the world, Westwood, Luke Donald, obviously you've got myself there, as well. Yeah, but there's Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey, a bunch of young guys coming through, as well. England is well represented in the top 30, 35 of the world rankings. There must be six or seven of us in the top 30, 35, whatever it is. There's plenty of talent and firepower. You just need a bit of lady luck and the stars to align. But yeah, for me obviously I'd love to be the guy to get over the hump.

Q. You mentioned your preparations being wrong for Augusta. I just wanted to -- have you got them right this time? How much different do you feel going into this major rather than Augusta?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, you never know until it's over, right, but I am coming in feeling sort of positive and upbeat. But also Augusta, you don't know that it was wrong until things don't -- hindsight is wonderful, right, so I just tried to -- you make what -- making a mistake is fine, but learning from it is really important, obviously.

So for me, I just tried to change it up, and like I said, I wanted to come in feeling a little bit different with my game this week. I felt like at Augusta I did so much work in the run-up and early in the week that I felt like on Tuesday my game peaked, and then it sort of dropped off after that. Whereas major championship golf is all about playing well on the weekend. So for me it was about what do I need to do to draft into it and feel good for the weekend more than trying to get ready for Thursday.

Q. The world No. 1 ranking, how much do you think about it? And there's been a couple of times where you guys have swapped ranking when you haven't played. Do you think they maybe need to look at reevaluating the system so there's more emphasis on becoming world No. 1 with a big performance?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I think the system has held up really well for the last sort of number of years. It enables a player to be dominant. If you go ahead and you keep winning, you can build a lead that is commensurate with your play.

I think that it's been nip and tuck between me, Brooks, DJ for quite some time, and all of us have played at a really consistent level, winning a couple of times, a lot of top 10s, but no one has really dominated per se.

So I think the system has shown exactly what's been going on on the golf course, and I think that's what you want from a system is it reflects what guys do, and I think it's obviously pretty spot on.

Obviously there's weeks where I might take a week off, my divisor changes, but it's a point average. That is the only way to do it. I think they've done a good job with the tweaks a few years ago of maxing it out at 52.

So I think, no, it's a really fair system, to be honest with you, and I don't think the guys at the top feel like it's unfair when those shifts happen. I think we all understand why it happens.

Q. How much of an adjustment has it been with this shifting to May in terms of the rhythm of your usual golfing year?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I think it -- I feel like this tournament comes at a nice time where you're sort of through Augusta, you can play a few other tournaments around this one to sharpen up or rest up, however you see fit. I feel like this comes into focus not too soon after Augusta to sort of stand on its own, which I think is great.

The weather, obviously there's always a bit of -- playing in New York in May, that could be interesting. It certainly has proved to be interesting with the weather. But any concerns of the golf course, it being too early for a golf course up here, I think has been absolutely put to bed this week. This golf course is as good as I've ever seen it. The greens are phenomenal. Kind of makes me wonder why at home -- I see Wally there, we've got Wentworth and venues like this back in the day that had the poa annua greens, and we always wondered why we couldn't get them perfect. But you look at the weather here, the weather here is way more harsh in the winter, but the greens, they're the best poa annua greens I've ever seen. I think from that point of view, it being in May, it looks like a good thing.

Q. Since the Open at Merion, how have you approached major championships and dealing with the pressure of trying to win a second?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think the pressure of trying to win a second is far less than the pressure of trying to win your first. From that point of view I haven't given it a second thought. Obviously I want to win more. I've been close on a couple of occasions. Lost in a playoff there at Augusta. So a putt here, a putt there, a chip here, a chip there, I could have added a second to it, second major championship, and yeah, I feel like I'm still waiting for my run in the majors. I'm still waiting for a hot run where I can hopefully get an opportunity to put two, three, four away quite quickly.

You know, I feel like the style of golf does suit me generally, so I'm still working hard. There's still a lot of focus for me. I try to build my whole year around trying to play well and peak in the majors. I still feel at this point in my career, yeah, second major, and then obviously on from there will kind of define my career from that point of view. I've done a lot of other really cool things obviously alongside my major championship win, but more majors equals a better career, there's no doubt.

Q. With regards to this week in particular, the back-end stuff that maybe a lot of people don't know about, your work with Justin Buckner (phonetic) or even Sean or your caddie, what does a major championship look like for you in terms of nutrition, sleep and recovery, working out? How do you balance all of that and maybe give a little insight into what the week looks like so that you do peak on the weekend, like you said?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, so it's all about periodization. I think this is a week where you're not really looking to make gains in any single part of your game, you're trying trust that the work is being done. Even into the back end of last week, you're already sort of beginning to taper off, and you kind of push hard maybe three or four days prior to wanting to get -- J.B. would call it super compensation, so you'll train really hard in the gym maybe Thursday, Friday last week, maybe into the weekend, but from that point on, you're not really looking for the gains anymore. You're looking for the body to come out the other side and be fresh and ready and having all the benefits of that training and hard work.

I think it's a little bit the same with the practice, too. You know, for example, today it would have been very easy for me to have gone off to the range, gone off to the chipping green, pushed for that comfort level to get to the first tee tomorrow. But there's always a cost to the work you put in.

Sometimes you have to trust that being mentally fresh is the most important thing at a major championship, and if you are going to go on and win the tournament, you're going to need your best on Sunday. It's about just trying to have a little bit of reserves in the tank at this point.

Q. Obviously the golf course, emphasis being very long this week, was there a catalyst in your career that made you put in the work to increase your length, because obviously now you're one of the longer guys out here.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely, I would say sort of four, five years ago we had sort of a bit of a project within the team that we called Project 300. I felt like to compete on TOUR and be one of the best players in the world you had to fly the ball 300 yards in the air. That seemed to be just a nice round number, obviously, but that was kind of I felt the metric that would kind of open up a few golf courses for me. It would make a difference.

And I guess the last few years we've been able to achieve that through technique and through fitness and various other obviously factors.

But a golf course like this, I think if you look at it, I could be proved wrong, but I would say this is the kind of golf course where maybe you're looking at the field not necessarily as 156 but maybe looking at 30, 40 guys that maybe can win this tournament based on the length, and I think driving the golf ball and distance will be a really big advantage this week.

Q. I assume there's no rough at Albany, so when you got here, did you put in extra work in the rough, and how is the rough out there?
JUSTIN ROSE: So I put a lot of work in around the greens, around the rough. I feel like if you miss the fairway, you just have to access what you get, and to be honest with you, for the most part, if you're missing the fairway on a 500-yard par-4, you're not getting to the green.

That's the way it seems, especially some of these uphill -- there's a lot of uphill second shots on this golf course. If you're in the rough to an elevated green with your second shot, you're going to have to think about it. You're going to have to be really smart. You're going to have to think about playing to your favorite yardage and trying to make a 4 another way.

Around the greens, I've been spending a lot of time chipping, yeah, because there's that nice sort of four or five-inch rough around the greens. But it's funny, even the bad lies come out quite predictably, whereas maybe a Bermuda-style grass personally I find a lot more predictable, I'm a lot more comfortable in this type of rough around the greens than I am some other types of rough.

Also just going back to around the greens, one shot that I've been trying to practice a bit more this week is the long bunker shot. These bunkers are really, really big, and the way the faces are, the ball is running down the face into the middle of the bunker. You're having to fly your bunker shots quite often about 20, 25 yards in the air to get to the front of the green and then release to the pin, so that's also been something I've tried to adapt to this week.

Q. This is your 17th PGA, so you've seen a lot of PGAs. Is there a factor or are there factors that are common to the setups of those PGAs, and if so, what are they?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I've always felt that the PGA Championship is the championship that probably doesn't have an identity in terms of a style of golf. You know, I feel like it's dependent on the golf course. It's dependent on the time of year. And it doesn't try to sort of fit in any particular category. Even par doesn't mean anything necessarily at a PGA Championship. You get what the course gives you. And I think we've all respected that, to be honest with you.

I think this one in particular, this one, if I was to bring -- I don't want to bring in the word U.S. Open, but the golf course has more of that feel to it this week I would say, and if it was a U.S. Open, you would say, wow, this is a really fair test of golf.

So I think from that point of view, it's going to be fun for the players. I think we all regard this test and this setup as incredibly fair but demanding. And it's probably -- yeah, it's probably one of the most demanding PGA Championship setups and venues that I've seen in those 17 years.

Q. Despite what you said about 30 guys being the top contenders because of the length, is this course penal enough between the yardage, and if you miss the fairway, that it puts a lot of pressure on your game? Or do you think there are some low scores out there like we've seen here a few times in the past?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think there's going to be a lower score out there for someone who's on his game, someone who just gets out, gets comfortable with the driver, is driving it beautifully all day, and there's still a little bit of moisture in the golf course and the greens are running pure.

I think you're going to see maybe a 6-under-par round for sure. But doing that day to day to day, I don't see that happening. I think that anything under par on this golf course is going to move you forward in the tournament.

Projecting out, yeah, the guy who wins it probably is going to shoot something in the mid 60s one day and then from there just trying to keep it together in and around par and just trying to get those gains where you can. But that would be -- that's my view on the golf course and how I'm feeling it.

Certainly there's a great round out there for sure, but doing it every day is going to be a challenge.

Q. Could you give me your take on what you saw in Francesco Molinari that elevated his game to such high status last year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think obviously it's been a work in progress for Francesco. He's always been a solid pro, and I think he just took the bull by the horns and said I want to be the best player I can be, and I don't know what his goals are, but his work ethic and his commitment is unbelievable. I see it in the gym, I see it in the warm-up trailer, I see the intensity with which he practices, the level of detail in which him and his team go to to record everything, to plot, to chart, to track, I guess track his improvement.

But I think what they do a brilliant job of is they make his training as uncomfortable as possible so that when he plays tournament golf, it makes it feel somewhat easier.

It's not easy to train like that. Everyone gets that mentality, if your training is difficult, sure, it's going to prepare you better for the tournaments, but it's hard to practice with that intensity every single day, and I think he's doing a brilliant job doing that.

Q. Can I ask the compulsory Tiger Woods question. How do you see his challenge here this week? Is he one of your 30?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely would be one of the 30 for sure. I think he seems to be driving the ball -- I wouldn't say as long as he ever has, but he's probably driving it as straight as he ever has in his career.

For me, the telling -- the most telling shot that he hit at Augusta for me was the tee shot he hit on 17. He had a two-shot lead. If he bogeys 17, you can always mess up 18, of course, but the fact that he -- and 17 is just a dead straight hole with trees left and right.

There's no real art to hitting that fairway other than just getting up and hitting a straight shot. So the fact that he got up there -- I was kind of wondering to see if he would bleed one in there or hit a 3-wood, but he got up and smoked a driver and hit it hard, and that to me was kind of the most telling shot that I saw him play at Augusta this year, and because of that, I think it gives him an opportunity this week with the driver.

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