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October 10, 2019

Justin Rose

Rome, Italy

Q. 5-under. You often tell me you're waiting for your run. Was that one of those days today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely was. Obviously a nice birdie on No. 1. Felt good about things and played basically four or five really poor holes where I was missing fairways, missing greens, really having to grind just to really be 1-over through six.

Then I made a nice birdie at No. 7, and I sort of reset my goals, really, actually. I sort of broke my round down into holes of -- blocks of three holes at a time and my goal was to try to be 1-under for each of those individual sets of holes to try to get it in the house, I think it was 3- or 4-under.

Just had a nice hot run in one of them, birdie those of holes on the back nine and got into much more of a flow. I putted unbelievably today. Rolled it really well. Read the greens -- whenever you make putts -- I read the greens really well today and hit my lines. Greens looked like they were getting bumpy but still holding their line really well, which is great out there.

So enough good quality shots coming in and capitalised with the putter.

Q. Played here in 2002 but a very different course, 500 yards longer. What do you think of the venue?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think it's a demanding test. Especially around the greens. You can get all sorts of different lies. It's quite tricky to get good lies around the greens, so it's not routine to get the ball up-and-down at all which really putts the premium on trying to hit fairways and greens this week, which I like.

The fact this is long, and the driver, it is in your hands quite a lot on this golf course, you have to shape tee shots to hit it in the fairway and there's tilt to some of the fairways, so there's a nice premium on ball-striking this week.

Q. What pleased you most with the way you pieced together that score, especially on the back nine?
JUSTIN ROSE: I stayed just about patient enough on the front nine. I had a tough run from the second to sixth, didn't play very well at all and rode the storm there a little bit, reset.

But probably my putting is what I was happiest with today. I really rolled is beautifully from 10, 12, 15 foot today, capitalised a lot on my opportunities, and felt like it was one of those days where I worked off the golf course going, made the most of that round for sure.

Q. A long time since you've been back here. What kind of test did the golf course offer today?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's a much longer test than before there's still a lot of golf holes here where you have to shape it left-to-right, especially on the front nine.

First hole you have to cut it off the tee.

Third hole you have to cut it off the tee.

Sixth hole, you would have -- you used to have to cut it off the tee but now they have gone way back left and it's a straight hole.

Even No. 8, we used to have to cut that off the tee but now they have gone way back, so I can hit it straight.

In some ways, I think it's better because not every shot is a cut on the front nine. Gives guys who don't fade the ball a little bit more opportunity, but I do like the way you have to work the ball off the tee around here, and it's got enough teeth, this golf course. Greens are relatively soft, so that's the only reason you're seeing good scoring right now and not a ton of wind; so guys can tend to go low. If this golf course firms up, it could be a really great test.

Q. What do you do now with the next three days?
JUSTIN ROSE: Get more consistency going with my long game. I saw a few more quality shots on the back nine, with my irons, especially, found my start line a bit more.

Yeah, just a click more into gear and see more consistency with that.

Q. An emotional few days in golf, Henrik Stenson and Ryder Cup partner, he's retired his trusted 3-wood. Wondering how the players have taken this news.
JUSTIN ROSE: I've benefitted a lot from that 3-wood. That 3-wood, I've been on the receiving end and I've been on the giving end of it, I suppose. I remember down in Rio, he had about 280 carry this bunker on the 18th hole, and if he could carry the bunker, had a massive advantage, playing the 18th hole tied.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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