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June 13, 2019

Justin Rose

Pebble Beach, California

Q. That was a heck of a round, splendid way to finish up. How happy are you with the way you played today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously a fun day of golf. I guess the round was going nicely. I was 3-under par, had a rough patch, had to scramble, work hard, keep my round together. Even when I made a mistake, I was willing to accept. I was kind of playing, okay, if you can go back to 2-under -- I was trying to stay patient with myself mentally, but kept up-and-downing the ball, kept the momentum up. And then got rewarded with a hot finish, birdieing the last three, took a good round to a great round.

It's certainly fun to finish playing that golf hole late at night, around 7:00 at night is when you want to play it. Obviously that's where you want to be on Sunday. A great start to the week.

Q. How aware were you of the scores in the morning wave, and how did it shape your approach?
JUSTIN ROSE: Very well. I thought the course might play a little tougher this afternoon than it actually did. I don't know if -- I haven't paid too much attention if anyone else in the afternoon has got it going low, or if that was the better -- obviously it's the best score today, but if there are other guys chasing as well.

I think tomorrow the wind might pick up in the afternoon. I was aware of that. I was aware of being patient today if it got tougher this afternoon, and the guys tomorrow afternoon might get something similar. The wind almost laid down coming in, not picking up.

Q. Rory was reflecting on the fact that every major championship, the ones he won, he got off to a hot start. This is by far your best start in a U.S. Open. That puts you right in there, obviously?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it does. You're going to make mistakes in the U.S. Open, but if you have a reason to stay patient, I think it's a lot easier to let those mistakes roll off your back and continue doing what you've been doing to get on top of the leaderboard. There's more than one way to skin the cat, but I prefer this way.

Q. At Merion, what do you take from that that you might apply now into the next few days here?
JUSTIN ROSE: Merion came down to one shot at the right time. It comes down it to putting yourself in position on Sunday. And if you have a lead on Sunday, there's so much that can happen at the U.S. Open. But if you are going to win, you need to step up and hit a great shot. When that moment happens there might be a situation to commit -- you've got to do something to win a golf tournament at the end of the day. That's what I took from Merion. I was in the middle of the fairway on 18 and I had to hit a golf shot. Fortunately it came off. Until that point you can't really get to that point. What's going to get you there is the shot for sure, the boring stuff.

Q. Was it relatively stress-free out there? You felt comfortable?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think playing with Tiger a couple of weeks ago at the Memorial was good. I had those memories. I felt really comfortable. The crowd were big, huge, six or seven deep, pretty much all the way. So there's the obvious noise. I had to hit some shots where I didn't quite have the setup or the peace and quiet that I would normally hit a golf shot under, I had to try to keep pushing that. But you play late on a Sunday afternoon it's noisy. It's what you want.

Q. You mentioned with Merion it came down to one shot. And at Bethpage he had enough of a buffer he didn't have to play the best golf and he won it. How nice would it be to be on Sunday and give yourself a pad?
JUSTIN ROSE: The pad is what you're after for sure. The pad is stressful, you don't want it to whittle down, obviously, but I've learned that what's got you there, is the mindset you have to play with. As soon as you hit the defense button, the shots slip away. Even if you're hitting a safe shot you need to hit a positive spot to the safe spot on the green.

Q. What is it like to close out three holes at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Open with three straight birdies?
JUSTIN ROSE: It was amazing. Obviously I had good numbers. I hit my favorite shot of the day was my 7-iron into the 16th hole. The pin was up on the right side. If I was going to hit 7-iron I had to take something off and cut it in there. That was my favorite shot of the day.

17 was a good, solid 4-iron. If I drew it up it was a perfect number. You had to hit left of the hole. The putt rolled in.

18, great tee shot. The 5-wood, I was right between clubs. The way I have my bag set up this week, I have a 5-wood that goes 245, occasionally 250, and my 4-iron, it goes like 217, 218. It's the one part of my bag where there's quite a big gap. I was right in between clubs on 18, so I was trying to feather up a little 5-wood.

But I left it in the right spot. You can't go left. I left it short right. Thought I hit a great bunker shot, it trickled out but made the putt.

Q. Is it exhilarating, in terms of the feeling?
JUSTIN ROSE: I wouldn't say it's exhilarating, because I feel like my mindset is I am in a 72 hole tournament. This is just a very small step towards outcome. So you don't feel like that buzz that you would on a Sunday, but you can't help but look around over your shoulder, and dam, this is Pebble Beach. Shot 65 and you're in the U.S. Open. It's a cool moment. Whatever transpires the rest of the week, it was a cool moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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