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May 24, 2007

Justin Rose


MICHAEL GIBBONS: First round since the Masters, would you have taken that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yes, no doubt.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Tell us about an eventful day today.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I guess I entered the round with not so much confidence, but kind of excitement really to be playing again. And again, it I didn't really know what to expect today. I didn't know whether being fresh or being rusty -- I didn't know whether being fresh would play in my favour or whether being rusty would work against me. And obviously I think being fresher proved to sort of win the day for me.
Got off to a great start. I felt very comfortable with my round, with the way I was playing, I was hitting good shots, and then around the turn I felt kind of sort of struggled with my concentration a little bit and got kind of scrappy coming in. And to come back 3-under having not birdied any of the par 5s I guess was the key to the day.

Q. That was a pretty impressive display of putting all day, isn't it really, apart from one dodgy one?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean -- which one was the dodgy one? (Laughter).

Q. The 9th when the train came by. Did it?
JUSTIN ROSE: Did it? No -- (laughter).

Q. They were all hanging out of the windows.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that is actually probably one of the more funny greens on the course, but anyway putted really, really well today. Ever since I started practising, I've hardly ever practised my putting, but the very few putts I have hit, the putter has felt really, really good in my hands, and that's why I haven't sort of spent too much time working on it. Just felt really good. So I was hoping to putt well today, and obviously I did.
Yeah, any time you sort of make -- especially in the afternoon around here, I think the greens were great in the morning and obviously in the afternoon, poa annua, they tend to get slightly more bobbly. So having holed so many putts this afternoon was a bonus.

Q. Not knowing quite what to expect, was there one shot or one swing that told you everything was okay?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really. I mean, I hit -- it was just nice to get off to a good start, good, solid 2-putt at the first. I didn't hit a particularly good iron shot at the first and I 2-putted from 60 feet, which that really settled things down. I felt like I was off and running really and I hit a good iron shot close in to two and made birdie. To see a red number appear that quickly, just sort of got me into my stride.

Q. The 15th looked a bit adventurous, the birdie there, can you run through that one?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that was lucky really, I suppose. I pulled it down the left side and it kicked right and if it had kicked left, it could have potentially gone out-of-bounds, I would have thought, or certainly into the bushes or the trees.
So then to have a good break and for the ball it kick right for me to be able to have a swing at it and to hit a good 4-iron on to the green and hole a 30-footer, I really felt like I stole a good couple of shots there.

Q. Did it hit a spectator or just come off a bank?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I hit a spectator, yeah. Hit his backpack. So it was lucky.

Q. Is this a golf course that you're comfortable on, and how does that round today fit into the rounds that you've had around Wentworth?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I certainly think that -- I feel like I've shot some don't rounds around Wentworth. I feel comfortable around the golf course. I feel somewhat at home here, just the fact that it's a course that's so close to where I grew up playing all my golf, and it's a course that I've walked around many, many times in this tournament as a junior.
So, you know, you feel like you know the course even without having played it yourself. Yeah, I feel comfortable around the golf course. I like the changes, I'm really enjoying everything about it so far.

Q. I was going to ask you how you enjoyed playing again back in England after so long and what was it like it the crowd did you is get good support and hear any particular comes out?
JUSTIN ROSE: I felt the support growing as the round went around, as I went to the top of the leaderboard. I definitely sensed the excitement and goodwill out there. There's definitely a distinctive sound. When I holed a putt at 16, it was like "whaayy." It was quite a different sort of noise, the applause than in America, actually. It's quite distinctive and unique. When that happens, like, oh, yeah, I'm back in England.

Q. How is it different?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know, it's just more of a "whaayy, raahh."

Q. As opposed to? (Laughter)
JUSTIN ROSE: It's quite like, it's almost trademarked as at Faldo Open Roar. It's just a different noise.

Q. We heard you say on television about your back; what were you having to do during the competition to ensure that it stayed that way? What treatment are you getting?
JUSTIN ROSE: Just basic staying loose, sort of math, stretching, all those sorts of things, just making sure it doesn't tighten up.

Q. Is what you're going to do now?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's what I'll be doing now, and then I'll see Antoni Jacubowski, the chiropractor I've been using. He'll be on hand to check me out and make sure things are well aligned.

Q. Does it make you want to play more regularly in the U.K. when you hear this reception?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely, I really enjoy playing my golf over here. I think this is in some way a reward for me for kind of working hard to get back into the world's Top 50, because this is the kind of schedule that I do want to play, obviously playing the key events here in Europe and certainly the ones in the U.K.

Q. You didn't make any gains on the par 5s. What happened on those holes, the back nine, anything in particular? Did you have any chances?
JUSTIN ROSE: 12 I just didn't particularly hit a great second shot. Came up short right of the green and had fairly tough up-and-down where you know I sort of chipped it on to the back edge. The pin was right at the back, and ball released to the back edge and didn't make the putt from 15 feet I suppose.
And then on 17 and 18, I missed both of the fairways but then put myself in really good position with you know a lob-wedge and a sand wedge into the green. Just hit two poor wedge shots, really.
So I guess that may be a sign of rust being a little bit not on your game, sort of that's normally the area when you're really playing well, it's really dialed in and so that may be just a nice thing to highlight what I need to work on really.

Q. Does it feel like you're playing at home when you're over here in England at Wentworth or you spend so much time in the States now that it almost feels a little bit like playing away from home?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I still catch -- I still find myself saying when I'm in America, I said before we came over here, I said, "I can't wait to go home." So it's still -- that's the internal feeling for sure.
No, when I'm here, I feel very comfortable. Yeah, it feels like a home game, it does.

Q. Playing the U.S. Tour and coming over to a European Tour event, has that helped you a lot, prepare for this?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know if it helps you. Certainly -- I certainly feel like maybe playing over there, I've become a better player. Therefore, I think this tournament is very sort of unique in its own way. I think it really attracts the best sort of field, The European Tour can offer. In a sense I don't think there's really any advantage coming into this event. You know you're facing every top European player there is, and therefore, you don't feel like, you know, by playing in the States, that gives you an advantage over anybody here.

Q. (About chances at the par 5s).
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I think I'll take it to be honest with you. I'd probably look at the birdies on 11 and 15 and think, okay, well, that cancelled out the 5-5 finish.
To be honest, the way 17 plays these days, I don't think that's a really a given 4. I think if you make 4, you think, okay, great, that's a good birdie. For me, that's a hole that -- yeah, like I said if I make birdie there I'm going to be happy but I'm going to be playing it generally as a three-shot hole.
18, yeah, is the slightly disappointing finish I suppose. Again, hit a good putt, gave it a good run, so they can't all go in I suppose.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Justin, well played, thank you for coming in.

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