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January 20, 2007

Justin Rose


JOE CHEMCYZ: We welcome Justin Rose, 2-under par 70 today, 20-under, co-leader after 72 holes. Maybe just talk a little about your day.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure, obviously 70 overall, not a bad score, not a great score. Kept my nose in and around the lead, so obviously that's a good thing going into tomorrow.
All week I've been saying that until you've played all four courses, you don't really know. It's a bit of a skewed leaderboard; until you've all played the same holes, that's the only time you really know where you stand in the golf tournament.
Obviously tied for the lead is a great position to be in going into tomorrow. I guess what's gone on before now is all history and we've got to look forward to tomorrow.

Q. You played with Roger Clemens today, and yesterday you played with three football stars; are you familiar with how great they are in our country in terms of your knowledge of American sports and do you realise that Roger Clemens is sort of like Beckham in England?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure it becomes apparent when you play with them and you see the admiration they get from the fans on the golf course. The people that turn out to play golf in sort of football shirts and baseball shirts, obviously true fans of those particular people.
Yeah, they are not sports that I'm hugely familiar with obviously growing up in England but it's amazing how big those sports are out here, the attendance at games and the viewership on TV. You've got guys at the very top of it and obviously they are huge stars.

Q. You were kidding the other day about it's 90 holes, but is it tough carrying the lead day after day rather than being sort of a shot or two off?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think it's harder than being a shot or two off, yes, it is. But at the same time, it's what you want. I really wanted to try to pull four, five, six ahead today. The bigger the lead, the better.
But at the same time, it's something that I guess it comes with experience. You know, the more times you're there, the more times you get to feel comfortable with that position. That's why guys like Tiger, Vijay, Phil, they generally finish off the job because it's routine.
I've been in contention a fair bit the last four, five, six months and beginning to feel better and better with it every time I go out there. Hopefully tomorrow again will be another positive to draw upon, to build from.

Q. Someone asked Lucas Glover, who you are tied with whether he thought because he had won on Tour he had a better chance than you and he pointed out that you've won in the last few weeks, so you were better positioned than he is. I would think that win, you mentioned it yesterday, the win in Australia must still be there, knowing that you can win.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure, the last event I played I won, other than this one. So I guess I couldn't be in too much better shape going into the final round tied for the lead. Especially being the first week of the year, I think it's important to emphasize it's still the first week of the year.
Tomorrow will be a wonderful start if it should come off, but it's important to maybe not put too much pressure on yourself tomorrow and realise it's still the first week of a long season.
Obviously everyone is going to be going out there and certainly trying to win the golf tournament. But it's not a bad idea to have a little bit of perspective in terms of the bigger picture of the whole year ahead.

Q. Knowing your status going to Britain every year and The Open and knowing the papers and your status there, what would a win here mean? You have won before other places, what would a win on Tour mean?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I certainly would believe for me it would be another step up the ladder, no doubt, no question. But this is obviously where I've chosen to play the majority of my golf. It would be important for me career-wise to win over here.
I would like to believe I'm doing a lot of good things. I'm putting myself in position quite a lot, so I believe hopefully something will come around sooner rather than later. But, you know, it's very important and the first win is often the hardest one to get. At the same time, a lot of positives for me to look at going into tomorrow, and excited about the round ahead.

Q. At one point today you were four or five up on the field and then kind of slipped back a little bit. Do you look at today's round, do you look at it as 70 is a solid score out here or do you look at it as maybe letting something get away?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, if I was to be brutally honest, I think that coming back in 1-over, I feel like I let two or three slip away, for sure. But at the same time, I had been pretty mistake-free up until then, and four rounds, it's a lot to ask. You're going to make mistakes, everyone is going to make a few mistakes here and there. And that's what I feel like I've managed to do. I've managed to bounce back well when I have made mistakes out there and keep myself very calm.
And tomorrow probably won't be the perfect round. So you've got to take those mistakes on the chin, and everyone makes them. That's what you've got to try to remember.

Q. You said that it's been four, five or six months that you've felt more and more confident; what do you think sparked the good play, and when do you think you started to feel it? Was there a specific turning point somewhere?
JUSTIN ROSE: I guess the Deutsche Bank in Boston was probably the first event that I got into contention. I sort of hung in there all week. I was on the leaderboard all week and I felt comfortable. Just really rode that momentum. I knew I was playing well for a long time before then without really seeing the results that back it up, so when I started seeing the results, obviously confidence grows a little bit. So every time you're in that situation, you just get to feel more and more comfortable. And I feel like my Sunday performances got a little better each time as I headed towards the end of the year and finally won in Australia. It's like a learning curve, getting better each week.

Q. Conditions a little bit different today?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, they were nice, certainly. Yeah, obviously to come -- it's a perfect draw, really, if you're going to have the nice day and get the passive course on a nice day. One, it would have been nice to make more on that, but the other course, you catch it on a nice day, it's a good opportunity to go low. And so who knows quite what is the best way around. As I said, until everyone has played four rounds, you don't quite know what's going on.

Q. Can I change subjects just a minute? Carnoustie, you were there in '99, have you been back since and do you know anything what it might be like for The Open?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I played the dunhill links actually a couple of times after 1999, and the way that golf course is set up for the dunhill links is actually, really, really enjoyable because Carnoustie was how it was in 1999, it was kind of crazy and brutal and too much. I've shot 66s around there in the dunhill links. When there's not much rough, and you can play it how it's meant to be played as a links. It's obviously a tough golf course, but it's still playable. They need to find a nice balance between how they set it up for the dunhill links when there's amateurs involved and for The Open.

Q. Last time it was so narrow a fairway you had no place to hit the ball.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, they learned a lot from that experience and I'm sure it's going to be a wonderful setup this time around.

Q. It looked like on No. 10, you had a very good drive and ended up slipping into the rough a little bit on the left. Is there any kind of compensation then on the 11th, or was that a wind situation when you dropped it in the water there?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't think it was too much of a compensation, but sometimes when there's water all the way down one side, you can become a little bit too conservative. So I wanted to get on the 11th tee and hit a really solid tee shot down the middle of the fairway.
The 11th hole you feel like you have to aim out to the left on the bunker on left-hand side, and I set it up with my feet and my body down the left side and maybe just kind of wasn't quite disciplined with the club face and maybe left the club face open and maybe just cut it into the water.
That would be the explanation I would give.

Q. Can you talk about how hard it is to win for the first time? Is it hard to believe that a guy like Monty has not won over here?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it is hard to believe that, for sure.
Yes, doesn't make sense really.
JOE CHEMCYZ: If you could just go over your card, if you don't mind, starting on 1.
JUSTIN ROSE: First hole, I hit 3-wood, pitching wedge to about 14 feet and made a putt.
Next hole, hit 6-iron into about seven feet and holed that.
I hit a 3-wood, 7-iron to four feet at the fifth.
Par 3 sixth, I missed it way right, the green down in the big hollow. Chipped up to ten feet and missed.
8th hole, I hit driver, pitching wedge to five feet.
11th hole, I hit it in the water off the tee and had 5-wood just to the back of the green and 2-putted off the back fringe. Holed about a 7-footer for bogey which was good.
13th, hole, I hit driver, sand wedge to six feet.
14th hole I 3-putted from about 30 feet for bogey.
Bounced back with a birdie on 15 where I hit 3-iron, 9-iron to ten feet.
3-putted 16 from probably about 40 feet.

Q. What were your three putts?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, just hit them a little bit too firmly. That's one of the advantages I have tomorrow is playing the same greens two days in a row. Obviously everyone has to adjust, same for everybody, but you have to adjust for different surfaces each day and today was one day I probably had more difficulty adjusting to the pace.
JOE CHEMCYZ: Thank you.

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