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October 31, 2007

Justin Rose


GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome, Justin, to the 2007 Volvo Masters. Now, Padraig's been in a similar position before against Retief, it didn't work out; and last year, it did, against Paul Casey. How do you feel going into this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, yeah, I certainly feel excited really about an opportunity that's presented itself that I necessarily didn't think would happen at the start of the year.
So, yeah, obviously it's a very exciting situation and one that I would love to capitalise on and make the most of. Because, you know, I've played a very limited schedule, it's the kind of opportunity that I think for me would be a huge achievement.
GORDON SIMPSON: And at what point did you feel that this was attainable, the Order of Merit, after which event specifically?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think when I finished second at the NEC at Firestone -- the Bridgestone at Firestone -- sorry. I'm a few years behind there.
JUSTIN ROSE: At the Bridgestone, I finished second there and picked up a big check. That's when I suddenly thought, well, I'm really flying up the Order of Merit in Europe.

Q. What's your thoughts on whether Ernie should be here or not to take part in the fun?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, it's obviously from my point of view, it's great. (Smiling).
Obviously from the tournament's point of view, it's not ideal, and it's just a shame that there's an overlap in schedules and in dates. But obviously, he had a commitment to that tournament I guess for some time and it's just one of those unfortunate situations really.

Q. Did you have an invitation to Singapore?
JUSTIN ROSE: No. No, I didn't.

Q. You sure?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I didn't.

Q. Somewhere else?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, nowhere else. To be honest, this was a priority and I wouldn't have played probably -- well, for me, this was always my plans to play the Volvo Masters. It's one of the tournaments banked on playing in order to get my minimum number of events in played in Europe, and obviously it's a season-ending event. So from my point of view, it's always on my schedule.

Q. Are you worried that you're the only one that has not had an invitation to Singapore? (Laughter)
JUSTIN ROSE: They must have run out of money I guess. I don't know. Yeah, they have got a great field there. I don't know. I don't really know exactly what's going on there.

Q. Because of the physical problems you've had this year, are you looking at the schedule to make any changes next year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really. I'm obviously looking at being 100% fit starting next year. That's my goal now through the next three months and therefore not having to worry about my schedule really. My schedule next year will be based purely around when I feel is going to help me play the best, not really survive, if you know what I mean.
I'm anticipating being fully fit come the first event I play next year.

Q. So it will be very similar and you will only play 12 European Tour events?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's going to be based January through September in America, get through the FedExCup. I haven't really studied or seen the schedule over there to see if there's been any changes. So before I see it, it's difficult to exactly see what's going on. But it will be somewhat similar to this year, yeah.
GORDON SIMPSON: But your World Ranking position gives you more flexibility now, doesn't it.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, exactly. I can set my schedule based around majors and World Golf Championships. And this year it was my plan and luckily it came off. I guess next year, I can go into that with some certainty that that will be my schedule.
But yeah, it's obviously been really good for me to rejoin The European Tour this year, obviously for a lot of reasons, one being Ryder Cup and two, just for my own peace of mind really. I've always seen myself as a player that wanted to play both tours, and I still believe without being in the Top-50 in the world and quite comfortably inside it, it's a tough thing to commit to. So it's exciting for me to go into next year and being able to plan a similar schedule.

Q. Where does winning the Order of Merit fit into what you've done so far? There's a lot of talk about it losing some of it's meaning because of Ernie's absence. What does it mean to you?
JUSTIN ROSE: It would be a career highlight. I think it would be the pinnacle of my career so far, no doubt about it.

Q. Is that something you thought about when you were a young pro, did it mean anything then?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think winning the Order of Merit is -- no, it means you've been top dog in Europe for that year and I think that's a huge, huge honour, really. It's something that players have fought hard for in the past. Obviously Monty protected it and guarded it and fought hard for it for many years. And I guess it was Westwood that broke the run, and that was a huge achievement for him; and Padraig has talked so much about what it meant to him to win the Order of Merit.
So, yeah, it's completely a goal and something that, to be honest, a few years ago, I didn't think I was necessarily capable of. So to have the opportunity now, yeah, it's exciting.

Q. Would you tell us something about Padraig, please. When you think of him, when you think of him as a golfer, what you think of; what are the things that you perceive to be his strengths?
JUSTIN ROSE: Sort of strength mind; determined; tenacious; he's a good competitor. He's obviously a great player, too. I think he's -- well, yeah, he's turned into obviously, well, the best player in Europe, really.
Yeah, I think more of those mental qualities really stick out for me.

Q. And are there parts of him that you would say are similar to you or parts of you similar to him? You would quite like to have strength of mind, and you would quite like to have someone say you're tenacious.
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, yeah.

Q. And you would quite like someone to say that you are a good competitor.
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I hope that I'm in this position means that I'm a lot of those things, no doubt about it. I think we can all learn from his work ethic to a certain extent, as well. I don't necessarily believe in having to be out on the range all day every day but I think every decision that Padraig makes, he makes -- I think he makes intelligent decisions based on what's going to be best for his game.
No, yeah, I think he's the all-around professional, really.

Q. Padraig has been in the situation twice before coming into the Volvo Masters with a chance to win; does that give him an advantage over you in any way, experience, or do you feel a disadvantage in any way in that regard?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I guess. I mean, every time you go through an experience, it makes you stronger, and if you learn from it, you get better for it.
So yeah, no doubt, it does give him an advantage. At the end of the day, it is who is going to play the best golf this week and both of us need to finish in the top three and were either of us to go onto do it, it means we are going to go out there and had a great week and you know, we've both done it many times before. It's just capturing that and putting the whole Order of Merit thing on top as well and breaking it down and keeping it quite simple and breaking it down as a golf tournament and how you would normally go about your business.

Q. Padraig was in here just a moment ago and he said he would settle right now for a playoff with you at the end of the tournament just to be standing on that 10th tee and to decide the Order of Merit?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, that would be brilliant. I hope it comes down to something like that. Because, you know, last year, it was a close run thing, with actually a third party deciding, Garcia, I believe, deciding who won the Order of Merit. That tournament was a real nail-biting finish, and, yeah, that would be brilliant.

Q. When did you last play with him?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've played with him a lot this year. I played with him at Augusta in the final round, and I played with him in the FedExCup two weeks in a row, in the Barclays and -- whatever, what was the next one? Deutsche Bank, yeah, I think we played the first two rounds together.
GORDON SIMPSON: Good luck and may the best man win Sunday. Thank you very much.

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