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October 17, 2007

Justin Rose


SCOTT CROCKETT: Justin, let's start by talking a bit about your back, still a bit of an issue I believe and one that flared up again at the weekend?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I felt pretty good at Wentworth all week, had a day off, just walked around Windsor and did a few things like that. Saturday went to practise a little bit at Wisley and went for just a routine check-up and when I got there, just the process that he normally does, I actually couldn't get off the table.
So obviously it's the same injury just got a little bit flared up. I've played a lot more golf recently than I have for a long time, and for some reason, it's good that it happened right in front of his eyes and he could piece me back to together and hope to get me playing this week. That's why I again highlight the fact that I've obviously got to do my best to get over this injury really, it's really nagging on and bugging me. So just going to highlight fitness and also highlight that schedule-wise, right now, I just need to be really careful.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You'll be able to start, it's not that serious, is it?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I'm hoping to start. The guy who is looking at me is hopeful that I can play and has given me advice saying that you need to take it easy but go and give it a shot.
In the middle of the season -- if I didn't have any -- I wouldn't be playing. But first and more most I have to play a minimum of 11, which actually will be 12 with Wentworth not counting towards your minimum of 11. So obviously that's almost a good reason to play. And secondly, the Money List as well.
The way I look at it, one of those two weeks need to be a big week, a top two or top three.

Q. You're not going to do a Robert Allenby then, turn up and hit one shot and pull out?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I'm more interested in doing that. I wouldn't come over to get one shot -- that's not what I'm about. I feel like I'm behind the eight-ball with my preparation this week. That's not how I choose to prepare, but at the same time, obviously mentally I'm trying to do my very best and prepare for the week and come out and be competitive.

Q. Until you went to the chiropractor, you had no idea there was a problem?
JUSTIN ROSE: You always get tired but basically -- I don't know how to describe it. But basically, the disk just gets inflamed and through a lot of forward flexion that comes through playing golf just aggravates it.

Q. Has he been working on you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, he spotted it, that's one thing, before this week, I went through my checkup Tuesday morning before I came out and he checked me out and said I'm not going to touch it sort of thing, it's looking good, it's looking good.
So it's a matter of really icing it, getting inflammation away and keeping on top of things.

Q. Has he been working on you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, on the extension, which is ultimately where the disk pushes back -- on extension.

Q. Preparation affected?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I didn't hit a ball today. I will never play through pain because I don't want to do more damage. But at the end of the day, that's the what I have to do to -- the ratio of work to gym right now is 80 per cent golf and 20 percent fitness; and I need to switch that to 80 per cent fitness and 20 percent golf, getting over the injury and giving yourself time to heal. This will obviously be the most important season I've ever had in terms of fitness, not in terms of golf but in terms of getting myself strong. Obviously without the body you don't have the career and that's what you've got to take care of really.

Q. Did you have --
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it was exactly -- couldn't have happened at a better place really.

Q. When else did it happen?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, it sort of occurred -- I had six weeks off before Augusta and played Augusta and went for an MRI the following week and happened again another six weeks after. Probably at the time I didn't have an understanding of the injury at all and not being treated probably correctly.

Q. What is it, a slipped disk?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's actually more of a -- the disks, what goes on, is my sacrum gets stuck or misaligned and everything else has to over compensate and therefore gets inflamed. If you look at it on an MRI scan, the disk looks great but that doesn't seem to be wore worrying Anthony. Probably you, you, and you all have dodgy disks if you saw them on an MRI -- that's very receive induced.

Q. Does he crack bones?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, he cracks bones, but the thing about it is tube day morning I was there for a checkup and he left me alone which is a great sign for me.

Q. Where does this rate in terms of seriousness of injury in your career?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's the same injury that I've always had. I had it in 2001 or 2002. There's a weakness there, simple as that. So it's about managing the situation, and that's obviously what I've got to do is learn to manage it and over time get on top of it.

Q. How great a goal is the Order of Merit?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think finally obviously that it's a great thing to achieve. This year would be a bonus. For me really it's just been about becoming a member of The European Tour again. So to have aspirations of winning the Order of Merit at the beginning of the year was not the case.
So still, it's going to be a bonus should it happen. Obviously now, being a significant amount behind Ernie would mean playing well the next two tournaments that I'm scheduled to play in. That's obviously made it very easy for me to focus on what needs to be done. It's not going to be like limping across the finish line. It's going to have to be some very good golf.

Q. Puts into perspective Monty winning the Order of Merit seven years in a row and another for eight --
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's impressive to do it every single year. It's a lot of golf and the consistency level needs to be there for a long period of time which is amazing.
Yeah, it's a very, very impressive record.

Q. How long do you think you'll take off to manage your injury?
JUSTIN ROSE: Nine weeks or so. It's all still up in the air where I'll start or what I'll do. I'm not really in a rush to get at it. When the time is right.

Q. If you had to choose, winning the Order of Merit seven years in a row or one major, what would you choose?
JUSTIN ROSE: One major.

Q. You could win the Order of Merit without winning a tournament this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Wrong. I did win in Australia which was in 2006 but in European Tour terms it counted for the 2007 season. I hear what you're saying though.

Q. Would you put a percentage on how you feel about playing tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE: I would say there's -- to be honest today not playing in the Pro-Am was a safety. I intends to play tomorrow and not to do something stupid and push myself in a situation where I would have been 50/50. So that was really the decision. I think for me, that would be vital given somebody who is very, very experienced managing my back and taking responsibility for it, those were his very strong words of advice.

Q. But has Antoni Jacubowski (his chiropractor) said if you feel something, stop?
JUSTIN ROSE: He's very happy to come out here if I need him. It's not going to be a case where I'm going to break down and I can't move.

Q. Did you speak to Padraig about the Order of Merit last week?
JUSTIN ROSE: Last week was obviously a good opportunity -- especially losing in the first round, obviously we always knew Ernie and Henrik Stenson were always in -- if one of them lost in the first round it was going to be a huge gap.
Like I say, for me it's going to be a big bonus this year -- Ernie in The Match Play, it's inevitable.
For me, I don't even really understand it. I just know that I need to get fit and strong. It's not that big a deal; I can get over it. It just needs to be well managed and I need to be disciplined. It's probably not a big deal. Everyone goes through these things in their career and you have to be intelligent about it really.

Q. Who will you root for in the rugby final?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, of course, I'm desperate for England to win it, no doubt about it. Obviously I'm going to root for England. Watched the semi final against the French, it was brilliant, such a tense game and not often do I actually get that into football or rugby or other sports, but I was really riveted to it. It was brilliant, really pleased, really happy. Also puts me in a good frame of mind.

Q. Never played?
JUSTIN ROSE: Never played, no.

Q. What about your mother, who will she support?
JUSTIN ROSE: That's a good question. I think my family they are very British, my parents, they are English. My brother he supports South Africa so the banter has really started. He lived there and grew up there and went to school there. He moved over to England for a while and couldn't handle the weather and went back.
I think when you go to school in England, you represent your country, you root for them.

Q. Rory McIlroy's career, presumably he will have a low period, what advice would you give him when that happens?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, there will be in every career. Right now he's got to ride that high as much as possible and just keep going with it. He really has no pressure right now. It's great, he's worked himself into a perfect situation and has his card for next year and can play where he likes. That's about as good as it gets really, give himself the luxury.
You could start talking about Ryder Cups and start talking about all these things and put pressure on yourself but my advice would be not to do that. I think just give yourself a great start, and that would just be a huge bonus. So stay away from all that, keep it simple, keep improving, that sort of stuff.

Q. Have you played with him or seen him play?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I haven't.

Q. Have you heard about him?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, obviously everyone talks about him. I think finishing birdie, birdie at St. Andrews to effectively get your card, that showed a lot of character and obviously that was a great finish. He is the real deal, is what everyone is saying, so it's good. It's great.

Q. He didn't have the missed cuts as a learning experience like you did?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yes, 21 missed cuts will stand anybody in good stead. (Laughter).

Q. Did you see his shot at the 17th at St Andrews?
JUSTIN ROSE: I haven't seen it. Obviously you go for it and it just comes off. Tiger has made a career of coming up with the right shots at the right time. It happened, you know, a great shot.

Q. What has impressed you about him?
JUSTIN ROSE: To be honest, I haven't really come into contact with him really. Said hello, passed by, etc., etc., seen him swinging on the range, walking by.
But I think obviously he's got an experienced management group and so I think he's surrounded himself with good people which is obviously the right thing to do at that age and they appear to be guiding him in the right direction.

Q. Was there ever a time you didn't think of coming here?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I made really good progress on Sunday and Monday. I hit a couple of light shots on Monday mostly to get the ball airborne and going forward. That's when I thought I'm going to at least head out to Portugal and give it a go.

Q. What do you think of the golf course? Do you think it could be a very low-scoring week?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think wind-dependent, yeah. I think the golf course is -- the fairways are not particularly wide but they seem to be a lot farther after the tee and right now the greens are still relatively soft. But if the greens were to firm up and there was quite a strong wind to start blowing and the greens would firm up; and the pin placements, they could become quite tricky. Yeah, I think right now you're looking at quite a low-scoring week, possibly 20.

Q. You are in a good position as nobody else is here this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, if I make ground this week, more than anybody else's performances. I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing. Obviously it's the same for everybody and certainly doesn't influence my mind-set in terms of whether I can be successful or not here really.

Q. Would you like to make a charge here or at Valderrama?
JUSTIN ROSE: That's where I've played well this year are the tougher tests. There's positives I can draw. I had some great tournaments in some low-scoring events, but yeah, I've enjoyed the tough tests.

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