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October 19, 2006

Justin Rose


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Justin, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Funai Classic. Good start to the week with a little 60. Why don't you just kind of share with us your thoughts.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, other than just going out there and knowing I was playing really, really well and knowing that there's plenty of chances to score on that golf course, I didn't really have a huge inkling that that was around the corner. I suppose you never do.

But I guess I played very solidly today. I didn't miss a green and I hit all four par 5s in two, so in a sense I could have had 36 putts for 68.

So I just kept giving myself lots of chances. I think that was the key really, hitting all four par 5s in two and just two putting made me feel like I wasn't making a crazy amount of putts out there. It kept me feeling comfortable.

Q. Your playing partner was on a similar line and he made it. Did you misread it or make a bad stroke?

JUSTIN ROSE: It happened on the 13th green, as well, he made a putt and filled up the hole and I missed one, so he feels very guilty. His putt rolled fairly straight, maybe left edge, so I just set my putt up left edge and pulled it.

Q. Which one will you think about tonight, 13, 16, 18?

JUSTIN ROSE: You know, yeah, 59 is a huge number to shoot and you never know if you'll ever get that chance again. But I suppose as far as the golf tournament, it's really a shootout. It's a good start to the tournament. I'm certainly not dwelling on anything. There's three more rounds to play and that's my focus this week.

Q. I guess you must not be superstitious because I heard you were pretty much openly acknowledging the number was in play out there and freely talking about it with your caddie with five holes left or so, that it was doable? Over here you don't talk about a no hitter in baseball; it's considered suicide.

JUSTIN ROSE: Well, maybe the curse got me, who knows. No, I'd say I think I did everything right to shoot 59. I made two great swings on the last hole, gave myself all I wanted to do was get to 12 playing the last hole. All I wanted to do was have a putt to shoot 59, and I did that. I missed one at 16 which I could have dwelt upon, but I reset the dial and made a great birdie at 17 to set up a chance. Playing the last hole 11 under would have been very boring (laughter).

Q. When did you start thinking about it?

JUSTIN ROSE: I suppose 16 was the time I really started thinking about it. I knew after being 10 under through 12, it was on. I had a reasonably good birdie chance at 13 and I knew I had a par 5 left to play. 15th hole, I hit it in the left rough, trickled by the pin, 16 I flagged it, 17 I flagged it, 18 I flagged it. More than that you can't do sometimes.

Q. Given the situation and you knew exactly where you were, was it the shot you had the approach you hit on the 18th the best of the day because evidently the ball mark was almost charted for 58?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it was probably the best shot I hit all day because I've been working hard on the shot basically in between clubs, took a little bit off of it, and that historically has been a shot I've struggled with. Today I hit that shot three or four times where I took a little bit off the bigger club and really hit it close. It would have been so easy for me to try and hit a hard 7 iron and left myself 20 feet in the middle of the green and two putted and got out of there.

Obviously I wanted to give myself wanted to make birdie, and I hit the right shot, the aggressive shot, not the defensive shot, which I was pleased with.

Q. What did you have?

JUSTIN ROSE: 190 a little downwind. It was probably playing like a 175, 180 shot.

Q. Yards?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yards, yeah. We're yards in England.

Q. Do you think, "this is ridiculous that I'm a little disappointed with shooting 60"?

JUSTIN ROSE: Right now I don't feel disappointed. Maybe the enormity of 59 will hit me and I'll think, well, that was an amazing chance. I was just pleased to keep it going. Sometimes you get to 7 under if you get to 6 under early in a round, you feel like you're flying, and I got it to 6 under early but I finished 12.

I kept it going today. It was uncharted territory for me. I've never shot a round close to that before. 9 under is my previous low, so to go three better than your personal best is pushing yourself, which I'm happy I managed to do today.

Q. Are you a pretty good golf historian as far as that? You know the guys that have done it before?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. Yeah, I could have I didn't know it was only three. I knew there were three guys who have done it, but I didn't know it was only three.

Q. Anyone done it in Europe?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, they have. A guy did it recently, I think, Challenge Tour event. I'm not sure exactly, but within the last year or two there was a 59.

Q. Were you nervous on that putt on 18?

JUSTIN ROSE: I actually wasn't, no. I mean, I was excited obviously. I wouldn't say I was completely ice through my veins or anything. But no, I was perfectly in control.

Q. You mentioned, I guess, what, 63 was your best ever, 62. Is that competitive? Have you ever done better than that even in just a casual round?

JUSTIN ROSE: No, I'm the worst social golfer there is (laughter). I'm easy to take ten bucks off.

My home course in the UK was a par 69 and there was a few times I've gotten out with 28 playing nine holes with the lads, but par 69 shouldn't count.

Q. It must be a dumb question, but is this the best you've played in your career or have you had better rounds?

JUSTIN ROSE: There's no doubt it's a course that is there for the taking, but I think while I was very pleased with today, the control I had in my distance, the taking a little bit off, tailoring the club to the yardage, not just flat out 6 iron, flat out 7 iron, flat out 8 iron, see where we end up, but really sort of feeling my way around the course, and yeah, really working hard on my distance control. I sort of started that last week in my week off, and it really paid off today. That's what I was pleased about. Yeah, this is probably the best round of my career, yeah.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JUSTIN ROSE: I left Lead a few months ago, yeah.

Q. Are you coachless now?

JUSTIN ROSE: I started working with a guy called Nick Bradley who's an English guy, a guy I've known for a couple of years, and he's set up an academy in Myrtle Beach, and we started doing some work.

Q. What seems to be

JUSTIN ROSE: It's working, there's no doubt. I feel my thoughts are simple. I think that's the key, really. It seems to be day in and day out I've got a similar thought process. I feel like I'm building upon something.

Q. By all rights you could have won this thing last year with two of the last three holes. Do you come into this tournament with a pretty solid feeling given your history here has been good, and that's got to help you when you're out of the gate and putting up those numbers I would imagine, to have that comfort zone?

JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly. It really wasn't my thought today at all, knowing that I played well here last year and expecting the same.

Yeah, obviously you imagine yourself in that position starting the week and that's what you hope for and that's what you're playing for. But at the same time you don't really expect it. You just play shot by shot. Obviously I've got myself into good position and I'm ahead of the game in a sense, so if I can just keep playing solidly all week, I'm sure there might be a chance to win on Sunday. But there's plenty of time to go. There's definitely positives to draw on from that in terms of positive memories, yeah.

Q. That swing thought that you had written down on your score card there, was that of your construct or a sports psychologist or how did you conjure that up and why was that written down for this week? You could have gotten ahead of yourself 1,000 times given what was available.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for some reason in my practice rounds I sort of was my focus seemed to be a little clearer, on targets, on shots, on things like that. For some reason I just wanted to work hard on that this week, just keeping it really clear and just really focusing one shot at a time. I said to my caddie, it's interesting I wrote that down in my yardage book. One shot at a time is easier when you're 2 under through 11 obviously, but I got myself into a situation where it would have been very easy to get ahead of myself, and it turned out to be a very poignant point.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can we go through your round? I guess let's go through the birdies real quick. I think Joel talked to your caddie.

JUSTIN ROSE: It's easier to go through the pars (laughter).

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Starting with 1.

JUSTIN ROSE: 1 was a driver, 6 iron to 30 feet, two putts.

2, driver, 9 iron to 30 feet, holed the putt.

3, 6 iron to three feet.

5, driver, pitching wedge to six feet.

7, par 5, driver, 5 iron to 30 feet, two putts.

8, 5 iron to 20 feet, one putt.

9, 3 iron, 7 iron to about seven feet.

10, driver, 7 iron to four feet.

11, driver, 5 wood to 45 feet, two putts.

12, 5 iron to about ten feet.

14, driver, 3 wood to 30 feet, two putts.

17, 3 wood, 9 iron to five feet.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: And I think you missed one fairway, which was No. 4. Is that the only fairway you really missed?

JUSTIN ROSE: What was 4?

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: You made par.

JUSTIN ROSE: I think I was in the semi rough on the 2nd and the 4th. 16 was five feet.

Q. Did you have a good chance?

JUSTIN ROSE: 13 was about ten feet.

Q. The longest putt you made was a 20 footer?

JUSTIN ROSE: 30 footer. That's why it felt in a sense like I wasn't

Q. Pulling miracles?

JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly, two putts on the par 5s, obviously wedges, hitting them close, so I didn't feel like I was used up my quota of putts or anything like that.

Q. You mentioned the 60 was the lowest round you've ever shot. Your thoughts about the fact that it's also the lowest round that's ever been shot in 36 years of this tournament, a course record?

JUSTIN ROSE: A course record is always good. Obviously that's a lot of rounds of golf by lots of great players. Yeah, I guess that just shows should show me what a great round of golf it was. Yeah, I don't know what to say other than I'm happy.

Like I said, I'm not really disappointed. If I made a habit of shooting 60, then I might start to get frustrated by not shooting 59. But right now it's not an issue.

Q. Nicklaus won this thing three times and never shot 60.

JUSTIN ROSE: It's all about consistency.

End of FastScripts.

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