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August 21, 2002

Justin Rose


JUSTIN ROSE: Really, really enjoying myself, actually. Two fantastic golf courses, for a start. The greens are very similar. It's nice you can get a bit of some rhythm going with your short game. You do a lot of practice one week and then you turn up the next week, and it's relatively similar. You feel like you can get a lot of good work done, on your short game and putting stroke particularly.

Q. You just missed out on the Top-10 last week in your first U.S. major, is that giving you a taste more of this level?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely. I was like 13th going into the last round, and really a realistic chance of Top-10, and I just made bad 6s on the back nine on the par 5s from nowhere, really which cost me Top-10, really.

Yeah, I'm not disappointed. I think it was a relatively good effort. You never know quite what to expect your first time over here. My goal at the beginning of the week was I said I would be happy with the Top-20, and I all but achieved that, really.

Yeah, fairly successful start.

Q. What struck you most about playing in America?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think last week, particularly, was the crowd. They were very vocal, start to finish Thursday onwards. What struck me really was the crowds on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I thought it was amazing, really, to have three practice days where you have 25,000 people, however many people there were there. You know, it's a huge atmosphere, from the word go. It's similar to the British Open. British Open gets that, so it's no real surprise there, being a major. But possibly not as vocal.

Q. Were you recognized?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's one thing I was surprised at was the recognition I got from the fans, really.

Q. Did they say "J.R."?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, all those sort of, you know, shouting stuff like as if they sort of know you almost. That's possibly just the way they are over here, but there's definitely a friendly sense of support from the crowd, which is good. I didn't know what to expect, really, from the fans.

Q. What different requirements does America have on your game than what you're used to, from what you've seen so far?

JUSTIN ROSE: I think there's possibly a bigger emphasis on short game. I think you need to play a bigger variety of shots around the greens. I wouldn't say tee-to-green it's any more difficult or any more testing.

But I think just around the greens, it requires you to play some shots that you would not otherwise play. I use that had little 3-wood shot across the green four times in a tournament which I've never done before, and the lob shot out of the thick rough was, was a shot that takes a bit of practice.

Q. And courage.

JUSTIN ROSE: And courage, yeah. So that's something I felt that I need to practice more is that particular shot.

Q. Has it whetted your appetite to play more --

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, certainly, I think a schedule I would really love to play for the next three years would be the majors, world championship events and then maybe a warm-up tournament before the majors. I think that's the way I see my career going for the next few years, hopefully. I mean, these tournaments are great to play in. They really are. They really, really are.

Q. Are do you enjoying traveling?

JUSTIN ROSE: I enjoy traveling. I think being young, you've got to take it on, really. If you don't do it now, if, you're scared of doing now because of the traveling, you're never going to do it, so I don't see the traveling as too much of an issue.

Q. Do you see yourself going to TOUR School?

JUSTIN ROSE: I'm not going to go to U.S. Tour School this year. I'd like to get my U.S. TOUR card at some point, and then have the option of what to do with it. But I'd like to get it by playing well in the majors and the World Golf Championships.

Q. How high and realistic is in the Order of Merit, winning it?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's very high, my goal is this year and next will be based European Order of Merit-wise. Obviously, I have more of an eye on the world rankings, too, because it enables you to play more of an international schedule.

Yeah, I've love to win the European Order of Merit. And obviously Ryder Cup 2004 will also be a goal of mine.

Q. How high up there is the immediate objective, not the Order of Merit, but the World Rankings?

JUSTIN ROSE: What am I now? 37, I believe. At the beginning of the year, I would have been ecstatic with that, really.

Q. Where were you beginning of the year?

JUSTIN ROSE: 150-something.

Q. Spectacular rise.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, beginning of the year I thought I would be happy with the Top-75 in the world, and then I changed that to Top-50, and now, you know, some really big tournaments coming up, it could be possible to get into the Top-20.

So, it's obviously harder to move up the higher you get, but it's all possible.

Q. Do you find this course in any way not intimidate being, but claustrophobic? You've got lots of chutes to drive down?

JUSTIN ROSE: It almost focuses you more on your target, though, because each hole is framed really individually. It does narrow your focus.

What you tend to do around here you is pick a tree in the distance that gives you a line, and you just aim at it and you hit it. If you start sort of glancing up from address at the trees left and right, you are going to be in a bit of trouble there. You really have to focus in on your target and give it a rip, really you can't get too intimidated by the big trees.

Q. What's the benefit of someone like you and Rich Beem, beating Tiger Woods?

JUSTIN ROSE: What are the benefits? Well, it's added proof that we didn't really need; that he can be beaten, but it was good to see somebody, not necessarily Tiger, but just the way he sort of seemed to rip it all the way around and played with a really aggressive attitude all the way around. I think that's something that you can learn from.

Q. Are you aggressive, similar approach to it?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, calculated, not so reckless/aggressive. There's times where you have to be aggressive, when you're trying to win a tournament, but there's obviously the -- you've always got to play on what you see as the right shot, weigh up the risk/reward situation and take into account what is going to be the best option, whether it's lay up to your favorite yardage and make four that way or to risk making six. Just depends on the situation, if you're three or four behind, it depends on whether you're one ahead or right in there.

Q. Could you have or would you have played the 11th the way Beem did?

JUSTIN ROSE: He hit driver, 7-wood, didn't he, to about five feet? Yeah, you're always going to go for that green if you reach. He must have hit a massive tee shot --

Q. 326.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I was struggling to reach that hole, anyway. I was hitting driver, 3-wood and coming up to the front trap, around that area. That's always a hole you're going to have a go at, yeah.

Q. Is length a concern at this level for you at the moment?

JUSTIN ROSE: No, I hit the ball long enough. I'm sort of 285 or whatever it may be. It's top half, I would say.

Yeah, you always would like to hit the ball further, but I think what I've learned most is that you can't play golf from the rough. I know I hit the ball far enough, and it's just a matter of keeping it in play because my iron play is very good. So that's probably my biggest strength. If I get it in play off the tee, I'm happy.

Q. You've still got a ways to go this year, but how would you sum up this year for you to this point?

JUSTIN ROSE: It's been nice. I've sort of played myself sort of onto the world stage, if you like, by playing all of these tournaments. I feel very comfortable at this stage of my career and playing in these tournaments.

This is how I envisioned my career progressing from when I was 12, 13, 14 years old. This is sort of where imagined myself to be, so it's sort of rewarding that I have finally got here. I think to do it at the age of 22, I feel like I have been around for a long time, and I have been around for a long time. But to be at this stage of my career at my age, I think is making good progress.

Q. 37th in the world.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'm very, very happy with that.

Q. Have you spoken to Ollie or Sergio about the logistical difference of playing both tours?

JUSTIN ROSE: I haven't really, no. I mean, it's a schedule -- they basically are playing more in the States than they are in Europe. Somebody like Darren Clarke may be a better guy to ask, I prefer that sort of schedule.

But, if you plan your schedule carefully, I don't think playing eight or nine events really is too much.

Q. Speaking of schedule, what do you have for November and December?

JUSTIN ROSE: Not 100% finalized, but I think I'm going to be pretty busy, to be honest. There's plenty of tournaments to play. You've got options down in Australia, Japan, Asia. So it's going to be interesting -- and then World Cup in December. It's going to be busy. I don't know when I'm going to have the time up. There's plenty of great tournaments to play in. Hopefully my name is in the mix for these tournaments, but I don't really know yet.

Q. What about Australia; you mentioned that?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, Australia, it's just -- yeah, it's something I would consider, but it is a long way to go. And if you're going to be busy around that time of year, then it is a long way back, 22 hours back home. I mean, I'd like to do something else other than Australia, but I'll take the best option, really.

Q. Available for the World Cup?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I'm sure there's a lot I can learn playing with Faldo in a competitive environment in a team competition. So, yeah, it would be very valuable to play with him, a great experience, definitely.

End of FastScripts....

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