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June 15, 2007

Justin Rose


RAND JERRIS: We are now joined by Justin Rose with a round of 1-over par 71 this morning, 2-over par for the championship. Maybe you could start us off with some general comments about your round today.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure, compared to yesterday obviously I was a couple under for my round and ended up shooting 1-over, which I guess was a disappointing 1-over; whereas today it was an incredibly satisfying 1-over. Again, I was 3-over par early in my round through five holes, and made two birdies and no bogeys in the last 13, so I was very pleased with that.
RAND JERRIS: Would you take a moment and walk us through your card, just birdies and bogeys on your card.
JUSTIN ROSE: Sure. I 3-putted No. 2 and No. 4, from what I would not regard as 3-putt territory so that was disappointing. I bogeyed 5, as well just running through the fairway with 2-iron and didn't manage to get up-and-down there.
The sixth hole I guess turned the momentum around for me. I hit a 6-iron to about probably ten feet and made a putt there. Then I parred everything through until the 16th hole where I hit a 5-iron again about ten feet and made the putt there.

Q. What happened on the second with the nosebleed?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know, my caddie didn't hit me or anything. (Laughter).
Just, I don't know. Maybe allergies. I tend to suffer a little bit of hay fever. I don't know if something got irritated. Was a little annoying but by the fourth hole it was all good.

Q. Did that affect you on the holes where you dropped the three shots?
JUSTIN ROSE: Certainly I would say the second green was a little bit difficult. I was sort of sniffling away there.
I could have taken my time. Whatever, whatever, you know, I can't necessarily blame the 3-putt on that but it was unusual that it happened, yeah.

Q. Another nose question. Has that ever happened before, and what did you have to do to stop it? Did you have to take anything?
JUSTIN ROSE: No. What do you do with nosebleeds? I don't know, you just throw a bit of tissue up there and off you go. (Laughter).

Q. I knew this course was tough, but that's ridiculous.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, exactly. Inflicting physical pain on us.

Q. You talk about 17 and the choice that's going to have to be made by everyone as the weekend progresses and how vital will that hole be, do you think?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, actually today, I didn't think I was going to go for the green at all all week and actually knew I could not reach the green today but the green was one tee up and for me that brought the driver into play.
If the tee is at the back, for me personally it's a two-shot, you lay up and hit it on the green. I think you just have to weigh out where the pin placement is to be honest each day. When you hit a drive and realize that you might miss it left, that's going to be where you're going to -- if you do miss the shot you're going to want to miss it just a little bit left so you have a pitch shot up the green and there's going to be certain flags where it's going to be an incredibly different pitch shot and it might be difficult from the fairways. It's a day-by-day call.
Charles Howell, I played with him today and hit an amazing drive to seven or a eight feet. Certainly in the championship, it's an exciting hole.

Q. You had the 36-hole lead at the Masters a few years ago and you might have been one of the handful of guys that had the lead on the back nine at some point there this year. Are you thinking of yourself that can contend and planning with these guys under these circumstances on the game's biggest stages, and what does that mean to you developmentally?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think I'm getting to that stage for sure. I think Augusta was probably a big step forward for me in terms of learning and believing that I actually felt comfortable and felt like I could go ahead and win it. And I sort of surprised myself how much I was enjoying the occasion. That's what you're meant to do; you're meant to enjoy it, I suppose. That was kind of a nice realization.
I think it's just -- that's part of the process, that's part of maturing and it's part of becoming a better player. So, yeah, I do think that I am getting more comfortable in these situations.
Certainly I think the majors, there's certainly excitement. I prepare hard for them and it's nice to see that generally that preparation pays off.

Q. We had Nick Dougherty yesterday, Paul Casey shot 66 today, and now you're in here. Are the guys from England ready to erase the drought in U.S. Opens and is that something you guys think about? And be honest.
JUSTIN ROSE: Be honest. There's a lot of talent in England right now with myself, Luke, Ian Poulter, David Howell; there's a whole bunch who can win these tournaments. I think the odds are beginning to stack up, not in our favor, but the more guys who can now go ahead and do it each week or each major that comes around.
I don't think it's necessarily on our minds, but we are obviously -- every time all of us arrive here, we would love to be the first to go ahead and do it for sure. Certainly doesn't feel like a race or anything like that.

Q. As somebody who played today on this golf course and played very well, can you put the 66 that Casey shot in some kind of perspective for us?
JUSTIN ROSE: (Smiling) Could be a 16-hole total. To put it in perspective, that's a pretty special round of golf. But saying that, he's obviously hit all of the right shots at the right time. I noticed he birdied 10; I guess he's made some putts. He did everything right today. Did he make a bogey?

Q. 45-footer on 10.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's how you have to birdie 10. Yeah, an amazing round of golf.

Q. In your lifetime, there's been more and more Europeans contending at this event; it's progressed. What do you attribute that to, and the leaderboard being full, or at least the first two pages with more and more international players every year?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think I attribute that to possibly European players coming over and playing more here on the PGA TOUR. I think that potentially helps when these majors come around. You don't necessarily feel out of your normal environment. It may help some of the Europeans to feel more comfortable by having played here more often more regularly. So that could be a reason why they are up more so on the leaderboard.
I think obviously the European golf is incredibly strong right now and you have to only look at the Ryder Cup to realize that and to realize that there's players in Europe who could and should be winning majors.

Q. Can you talk about the pin placement on No. 10, how difficult -- the degree of difficulty it was, especially considering how Shaun played it?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, you just realize that you cannot get caught up on the right side there. You've just really got to take your medicine or you've got to realize that two good shots equals 50 feet straight up the hill, and that's really what you've got to realize.
I think there's no point in trying to hit a career shot to cut it up into the green there and trying to get it to 10, 12 feet and flirt with the right hand edge. I think it's just a hole that you've got to accept that 50 feet, you make your 2-putt, you make your 4 and get out of there; that's if you've hit the fairway.

Q. You mentioned how important the birdie at 6 was in your round today. Did you get the chance walking up the tee there to regroup and give yourself a talking to and get yourself together again and to come back like maybe you would not have done a few years ago? Is that a bit of maturity in your game there?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think the fact that I didn't have to give myself a talking to is probably the sign of maturity in my game. In fact, I didn't get frustrated by the bogeys. I didn't feel like I had to pull myself together. I still felt quite relatively calm. I was hitting the ball I thought reasonably well. Everything felt good. So I didn't feel out of sorts even though it was a bad start so that's kind of what I had to realize.

Q. Under these conditions, which is the more predominant emotion that you need to resist; frustration, or impatience?
JUSTIN ROSE: They are both pretty much the same. I think you need to have almost a little bit of a sense of humor and the patience of realizing that the middle of the green is good sometimes. Just good strategy in your game plan, that's where the patience comes in.

Q. Can you just talk us through the amazing save at 9, and did you hit driver there and if so was it a mistake?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I hit driver purely because I thought 3-wood was going to bring the narrowest portion into play off the fairway, so it was either 2-iron or 3-wood. So if I hit 2-iron with the pin being just over the bunker on the right-hand side, I was not going to have any shot to hit it even within 30, 40 feet of the pin. I had to go way left and you have a treacherous putt. So I realized that driver was the aggressive play but I wanted to at least get up there where I could hit an 8-iron to have some sort of control on the ball.
I knew if I hit 2-iron off the tee, I was looking at bogey anyway, probably. So that was the reason for driver. I actually hit a good tee shot. Surprised I went into the hazard. I thought it was left off the fairway. But the par there was huge, actually. What we were just saying about the sixth hole being a good momentum-build, 9 I thought really kept the round together.

Q. Are you playing better than you were at Augusta?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know, it's tough to know on this golf course. You don't hit shots here that you're not often aiming at the pin, etc. I think you have to manage your game well around here rather than play well. I don't feel like I'm hitting every shot perfectly and I don't feel like I've got everything completely under control. Probably felt like I was putting a little bit better at Augusta than I am this week so far.
So, no, I don't think I am playing any better than I was at Augusta.
RAND JERRIS: Justin, congratulations on your fine play. We wish you luck this weekend.

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