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January 18, 2007

Justin Rose


JOE CHEMCYZ: Thanks for joining us.
JUSTIN ROSE: Sure, no problem.
JOE CHEMCYZ: 7-under par 65 today over at La Quinta, maybe just talk a little about your round if you would, please, and then we'll open it up for some questions.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure. It actually felt like quite a tricky day out there to be honest on the course. It felt quite windy, or windier than yesterday.
So I was obviously very pleased to get in there with a 65. The greens at La Quinta are rolling really well and they are also very fast. So you have to be sort of very careful around the cup today. You could leave yourself 3- for 4-footers which I managed to hole today which kept the score going. I was obviously very pleased with the way I played. I holed two bunker shots. Really my short game today was the reason I didn't played so well, scored so well.
JOE CHEMCYZ: Holed bunker shots, what holes.
JUSTIN ROSE: Holed a bunker shot for eagle on the fifth hole and I also got up-and-down out of the bunker on the sixth hole for birdie and that really got my round going and I was 1-over early through four.
Then I holed a bunker shot on the par 3, 12th hole, to get to 6-under.

Q. We've got you tied for the lead right now through 36 holes but can you get too excited about that position with so much golf left to play this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I don't think you can ever get too excited about 36 holes in a 72 tournament, left alone -- I don't even know how many holes it is, 90 is it? (Laughter).
I guess you don't really know where you stack up in this golf tournament really until everybody has played the four courses. Obviously some courses are going to be easier than others and it depends on which day you get to certain courses, whether they play harder or easier.
So I think really you've just got to play hard, as hard as you can and keep your head down for four days and see where you stack up on Sunday.

Q. A couple of questions, one obviously you finally broke through last year with a victory. I know you had led at Nissan, you've been playing well, I guess that was a huge achievement, and just wonder how it affects your whole outlook of the game.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think towards the end of last year, I certainly gave myself a lot of chances to win on the PGA TOUR, and having sort of not taken advantage of some of those which I felt like I should have. Winning in Australia at the end of the year on The European Tour was good for the confidence and makes you realize you can do it, and also it makes you realize that winning is not -- winning is obviously difficult, but once you do it, you kind of realize that it's not that big obstacle that sometimes you see it as.

Q. Obviously I saw you in the British Open, etc., but coming over here and playing in a tournament like this, with the celebrities, with the extra round, is it unusual and does is it bother you or do you find it fun?
JUSTIN ROSE: I find this golf tournament a lot of fun. I've had the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic schedule on my last two years, so for me it's a really nice event early on in the season. The courses are generally in very good condition and the weather is generally very good. Because of the amateurs it's a very relaxed atmosphere so for me it's a nice, gentle way to ease your way back into the season, back into the year after five or six weeks off.
So that's one good reason why I play the tournament.

Q. Playing with three movie personalities, I assume there are a lot of fans, do the spectators bother you, and Andy Garcia, or Cheech who can be a bit of a comedian, Don Cheadle, do they get in the way at all or do they have a good time?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's kind of all very businesslike out there today but we had a lot of fun. They were doing their best. They were keen to score really. They were out there to play as well as have fun, so it was a really nice atmosphere out there today.
Yeah, it's fun being in the celebrity wave. Obviously you get slightly bigger crowds and you really feel like you're in a golf tournament which is fun but with that comes distractions. There's a lot of autographs going on out on the golf course and therefore when you're still on the tee ready to play, people are still sort of moving and waking your way up to the tee box when you are getting ready to play which is unusual. You do need to keep your focus this week because there are more distractions than normal.

Q. Looking back at last year, I believe that you shot 64 on Friday and 66 on Saturday. First of all, you can tell us which -- if you remember what the courses were?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it was 64 at PGA West and 66 at the Classic Club. I guess I've got those ahead of me, and I'd seen for those scores right now obviously. (Laughter).
Every day is different here though to be honest. I think the wind can make -- the wind is a factor around here, so if you get a calm day, I think all of the courses are very scorable. We'll just see, I'm excited about, obviously getting off to a good start and this is a good start.

Q. Can you talk about the last round last year, I believe it was a 74, talk about what went on that day and what your thoughts were right after it?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think I finished tied for 10th last year and so while Sunday wasn't strong, it was a reasonable start to the season.
I was in position to have a really good week. I think it was just a tricky day. I remember it being really gusty, really windy and I wasn't really on top of my game.
No roll diagram as that I can think of, having shot 66 around the Classic Club, I know I'm capable of doing that, and I guess that's the positive I take out of it.

Q. I know you've discussed it before, why did you decide to concentrate on the US PGA tour after having played The European Tour?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, in 2003, the amount of events I played in the PGA TOUR, World Golf Championships, one or two exemptions I got, I made enough money to get my card without going through Tour School. Any time a player can have privileges to play on a tour full-time without having to go through the school, that is something that you've got to take up. Because it's never easy obviously to get on the Tour, let alone to be able to get on without Tour School.
So that's why I made the decision to play over here. But also the plan was to maintain my World Ranking inside the Top-50, which would have enabled me to play both tours. That's really the key and that's obviously what I'd like to do. I'm 51 in the world right now so I'm in that sort of position.
It just means that if you're playing all of the majors and the World Golf Championship events, then both tours is a possibility. Long-winded question, but to answer your question, I'm really enjoying my golf over here and I think it will develop my game. You have everything you need over here facility-wise and golf course-wise obviously to become the best player in the world.

Q. Did you have to -- a lot of guys go back and forth and back and forth. As someone who grew up in England and spent time in Europe and England, is it a great cultural -- do you have to adapt culturally and do you miss things back there when you're over here?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, obviously the fact that the language is English makes it not such a huge cultural difference or big gap. It's not really hard to adjust to but I think there's certain things that I miss at home, like a bacon sandwich and a cup of nice English breakfast tea and all of those creature comforts you get at home.
But at the end of the day, you miss the people more than the place and that's the case for me. But my family gets to travel out here occasionally and obviously friends come out occasionally as well. I feel like it's a very workable situation right now and I enjoy being over here.
JOE CHEMCYZ: Thank you, Justin, we appreciate your time. We'll let you go.

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