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May 4, 2006

Justin Rose


LAURY LIVSEY: We would like to welcome Justin Rose into the interview room after a 2 under 70 today. Talk about your round.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, obviously it's a good opening round. A tough, tough golf course obviously. You can see why the scores why 2 under par is in second place after the morning session. I can only imagine the course is going to get firmer as the day goes on, and obviously I'm sure somebody is going to shoot a good round, but somebody who plays well this afternoon will earn their score.

Nice contrast to last week where you feel like you could shoot 2 under and go back 20 or 30 places. Today 2 under was a good score.

Q. Did you have a number in mind when you went out there?

JUSTIN ROSE: In the back of my mind, not really conscious of it, but I knew 69 would be a really good number out there.

Q. Where did this form come from?

JUSTIN ROSE: I wouldn't call it form yet, to be honest. I didn't feel on top of my game completely out there today. I thought my way around very well, made the most of my good shots and limited the damage when I hit a bad shot and rolled the ball quite well on the greens, which was nice. I holed a couple of really nice big breaking putts, which is nice, and I had good touch on the greens.

Q. What part of your game are you not 100 percent happy with?

JUSTIN ROSE: I drove the ball well today, hit it in play off the tee. But the greens are so firm that you really have to have control of your iron shots to land it in exactly the right spot to avoid the downslopes and what have you and be able to feed the ball into the right areas of the greens. I felt like I didn't really have great control of my iron shots today.

Q. You mentioned the challenge today of 2 under being a good score versus last week. Is it difficult to kind of change your mentality from one week to the next, where today maybe you're playing more safe than you had to last week?

JUSTIN ROSE: It can be difficult, yeah. Obviously I would say this tournament is like a major type setup. Obviously you really prepare yourself mentally for tough rounds of golf, grinding it out and short game and all that kind of stuff. Sometimes when you turn up to a regular Tour event say, you don't quite have that battle you're not quite prepared for battle. My point is that I missed the majors last year and I kind of really like this type of golf where you don't have to shoot 6 or 7 under to be a really good score. I like to play courses that are difficult.

Q. What's it like for you guys obviously with what Tiger is going through this week? When anybody loses a loved one, what is it like amongst the players? It's kind of part of your family or something like that.

JUSTIN ROSE: Sure, obviously I've been in a similar situation to Tiger where my dad passed away in 2002. Obviously I was as close to my dad as he is his, so I know exactly how hard it'll be for him right now, the difference being obviously how much attention and all over ESPN and what have you and the newspapers, obviously it's tough, but that comes with being the No. 1 player in the world. He's obviously mentally very strong and I think he got that from his dad. He'll cope, but it's not easy.

LAURY LIVSEY: Can we go over your card?

JUSTIN ROSE: I started on 10, so if we do it that way, I hit a nice 3 wood off 11, hit a wedge to six feet, made the putt.

Followed that with bogey, bogey. Missed the fairway on 12, had to pitch out, knocked it on the green, actually caught the ridge and two putted from 40 feet.

Pulled a 6 iron left on 13 onto the back fringe and three putted from about 60 feet.

Birdied the next, hit 3 iron off the tee, lob wedge from 75 yards to 12 feet.

18 was a nice birdie, drove it down the middle there, hit 7 iron to 25, 30 feet, rolled a nice putt in there.

3rd hole, great tee shot, missed the green left with a 7 iron, failed to get it up and down, missed it from about seven or eight feet.

4th hole drove it in the bunker right, hit it from the edge of the bunker onto the green, holed it with about eight feet of break, so that was a nice bounce back.

Missed the fairway on 5 again, laid up, hit a sand wedge from 100 yards to about six feet, made the putt.

Parred in.

Q. How would you assess your form so far this year?

JUSTIN ROSE: Good and bad, really. I felt like I've struggled to maintain my good form. I've had definitely flashes of playing really, really well, had a couple Top 10s, but I feel like just stringing some good weeks, week after week, is what I haven't done. I've had a good week and then for whatever reason schedule wise I've had a week off and come back and the form hasn't been quite as good as it was. Just need to get a little bit of consistency going, build up a little momentum.

Q. Was today a positive sign?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think so, yeah. First round to feel really good about recently, so I'm pleased with that. I feel like it's somewhere I can build from.

LAURY LIVSEY: Justin, thanks for spending some time with us.

End of FastScripts.

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