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September 1, 2006

Justin Rose


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We have Justin Rose joining us after a first round 4 under par 67. Take us through your round.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I started on the back nine so obviously early start, 7:00. 4:40 alarm call didn't feel good. I don't mind 5:00 but when it gets into the 4s, that's my cutoff. It worked out nicely.

I think the key was really I made the most of the best part of the day. This morning there wasn't a lot of wind. I must say, the front nine, for me, which I managed to play nice on the front, made four birdies, one at 10, where I hit driver, 8 iron to four feet, knocked that in.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Birdie on 14.

JUSTIN ROSE: Birdie on 14, 8 iron in to ten feet and made the putt.

Then 17, driver across the corner, wedge in to about six feet and made birdie. And then quite an eventful birdie, really, on 18. I hit a perfect tee shot and I was trying to cut a 3 wood into the green. I pulled it left, hit a tree, bounced, ricocheted further left to where the TV stand is or something. Managed to get a really nice line through the trees, hit 9 iron on to the green, 12 feet, made the putt. Turned out to be a good lay up.

I really gave away my slice of luck on the 18th hole back on the 5th. Hit a good drive bounce left, didn't roll into the bunker, was in like a craggy lie. I was trying to force it right to the fairway. I hit it through the fairway right up against the rough in the hazard. So I had to take a penalty drop, knocked it on the green with a wedge and 2 putt. Bounced back with a birdie on 6. I hit a good drive there, 7 iron to five feet and made the putt.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JUSTIN ROSE: I have shot some good numbers, 63s, 67s, 68s. I've had some nice numbers around here. I guess it does fit my eye in some ways.

You look at the guys that play well here, I'm not a long hitter, but they tend to be longer hitters, guys who carry the ball quite a long way through the air. Then you can just take advantage of being able to cut some of the doglegs, really.

I think it's a decent ball striker's course, really. Big greens, but you've got sort of small portions to them so if you hit good iron shots you can really get the ball working into the flag. It's like Augusta in some respects, if you hit good iron shots, 10, 15 feet into the pin, but if you miss your spots, tend to go the other way.

Q. Is the course playing longer this year?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think the course is playing I can't remember exactly all three years previous how it's played but it feels longer this year. I think the course has been fairly firm as I remember it in the past. It's playing long. There's a lot of 3 , 4 , 5 irons hitting into greens and much more than Medinah, for example, which was long on the card, but it didn't play nearly as long. Playing the front nine well was good because the back nine the breeze got up a little bit and it was quite tricky, conditions get a little bit rough.

Q. That was basically my question, about how much longer the course has been playing, is that because of wetness, do you think, or is it just maturity?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think it's slightly cooler this year, as well, than it has been in the past as well. The ball is not really flying. If I'm hitting a 7 iron 170, I feel like it's going maybe 165 this week. The ball is not really flying quite as far.

Yeah, the fairways are playing soft. The way the wind is blowing at the moment, most of the holes are into the wind.

Q. Pardon me, this probably is ancient history, but when you turned pro at 18, you got off to a very slow start, there was some doubt as to whether it was the right decision. Now obviously you're flourishing. To what do you owe that?

JUSTIN ROSE: Hard work really I suppose, and it's never really giving up or giving in. There's always light at the end of the tunnel. I felt like I walls making small steps and trying to take positives out of whatever I was doing. I guess just working hard through that period and it was a quite humbling period as well, and it's a game that demands respect at all times and hard work, and those years early in my career will help me through the rest of it.

Q. Speaking of when you turned professional, your last event as an amateur was at Birkdale, was it not?


Q. Did you do anything with the club, with the ball?

JUSTIN ROSE: The club is at Birkdale right now in the basically case, yeah. Birkdale has it. And the ball, I did have it once in a drawer, but moving house, moving country, it's probably lost along the way somewhere. But yeah, the club is at Birkdale which is nice.

Q. Is it a wedge?

JUSTIN ROSE: Lob wedge, yeah.

Q. You've had some good chances here and, how would you categorize your first few years here?

JUSTIN ROSE: Feel like I've now played pretty much a whole schedule, I've played all the tournaments, I've figured out where I like to play, maybe where I don't like to play. I think I've transitioned well. And now it's maybe time to move onward and upward. I think I made the change from The European Tour to the American tour, PGA TOUR, I feel comfortable but obviously winning is the next step.

Q. Is there anything in particular that you feel that you have to do to get to that next level, as you say?

JUSTIN ROSE: Maybe my putting week in, week out has possibly held me back, but I'm feeling confident with that right now and stay the course with that. I think the more comfortable you get out here, the much easier it is to perform when you have to, when you have a chance to win. A lot of it is beginning to feel comfortable can really translate into playing much better, especially under pressure.

Q. A follow up on the next step, you've been a professional now for eight years, where does the Ryder Cup fit into that, and then with the Ryder Cup being a couple of weeks away, now that it's eight years, fast forward, would you have thought you would have made a Ryder Cup Team at this point?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, I probably would have thought I would have made it by now. You know, maybe coming over and playing the PGA TOUR has hurt my Ryder Cup chances, yes, but at the same time, it's difficult to really, you know, base your whole schedule around one event every two years. You've got to really look at the majors, I feel and that's how I want to be defined as a player.

The Ryder Cup is amazing because I love team golf. Looking at the Ryder Cup in the future, playing the PGA TOUR doesn't close the door on Ryder Cup for me. It's important to establish that. But if I play well enough over here, I can earn the World Ranking points required to make the team. So that's what I've been trying to do over the last obviously year or.

So the other key for me is maybe being Top 50 in the world, that will open the doors to playing one or two more events in Europe and maybe being able to be a member of both tours, but as right now, I feel like I have to commit to the PGA TOUR.

Q. Your demeanor out there today was wonderful. You took that sand shot, put it down on the rock, you took a hold of yourself and made the next shot which was a nice shot, does it bother your concentration when you're playing with guys who are swearing on the course and throwing their clubs?

JUSTIN ROSE: No. You have to realize it doesn't look nice. Sometimes it's good to see it and realize, I don't want to look like that or maybe I don't want to behave like that. But, yeah, it's no good for your game at the end of the day. You can see, you know, it's so hard to kind of just let things go. Like once you hit a bad shot, just let it go, but it's so important. That was probably a large reason why I was able to bounce back and make birdie on the sixth hole. I try to say to myself basically on the green when I had that 25 footer for bogey, I try to say to myself, you're 3 under par, not 5 under par. So you just have to try and let it go.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Justin Rose, thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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