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November 21, 2007

Ian Poulter

Justin Rose


GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, both of you have played in the World Cup before, but it's the first time in the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup together, and maybe each of you just give us a few moments to talk about the course. You played nine holes yesterday, and where you are thoughts on the week. Justin, you want to start us off?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, obviously for me it's the first time to China, so that's most obviously an exciting prospect.
Yeah, the golf course yesterday is actually -- I was really impressed with it to be honest. It's a golf course I think's going to test your game. I think certainly if the wind gets up -- I'm not sure if the wind does get up here, but if it does, I could see it being a really good test of golf, which I think for us is very encouraging.
I think, you know, a good test of golf, and obviously Ian having won last week and myself, the way I'm playing at the moment, I think that's something we'll welcome.
IAN POULTER: Like what Justin just said, I'm pretty excited to play this week. Obviously Justin winning two weeks ago, the Volvo Masters and the Order of Merit, just shows how well Justin's played all year. And obviously it was so nice for me to go on and win last week and back up a fairly good season. I'm excited to go out there and pair up with Justin, and, you know, hopefully we can go out there and do the pair of us justice.
The golf course looks great, the nine holes we played yesterday, it was a little bit tricky. The greens were fairly firm, which certainly suits us, to try and play a tricky golf course; they can put some tricky pins out. You know, I think we can score around this golf course.
I think the way it's set up, the way it looks, I'm very happy to go out there and try and have a big week.

Q. When you play together, will you be sort of saying, "sorry," or will you be quite rude to each other? How does it work with you two?
JUSTIN ROSE: (Laughing) No, there won't be any sorrys. Well, we talked last night basically about sorrys, and it doesn't really work.
IAN POULTER: (Laughing.)
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't think it works with Ian, definitely not. Probably, 'What the hell are you doing,' will be more along the lines. But no, we've obviously got a great relationship, so I don't think there's any reason to feel like you need to say sorry.
We're both good competitors and we know that each of us will be trying our hardest out there, and that at the end of the day is all you can do. Yeah, sorry is not a great word and one that we won't be using this week.

Q. Could we have Ian?
IAN POULTER: Yeah, we had a little discussion about that last night. Neither of us are going to be trying to hit a bad golf shot, and if you do hit a bad golf shot, there's no need to say sorry. You've just got to get on with it and hopefully your partner can get you out of trouble.
We're going to be giving it 110 per cent this week. It's a week that I think we both feel we can perform very well in, and we're going to be doing it to the best of our ability.
So we're not going to want to hit any bad shots, and if we do, I think we'll be good enough to try and get out of them and make a decent recovery.

Q. Just to continue the same theme, has either of you ever played with somebody to whom you have had to be saying sorry all the time and it hasn't worked?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really. I mean, I think -- no, I think it's just part of pro golf. I don't think -- you know what's on the line. Each player knows what's on the line.
You know, I think you encourage each other out there and you're very sympathetic with your partner. You never try and create an atmosphere where you feel like you're expecting too much from your partner and you, therefore, create pressure and put pressure on them. I think that's the key to it, really, is creating an atmosphere out there where you've got each other's back, and, you know, so therefore, you don't feel the need to have to say sorry. I think that's the important thing.
For me, that's the key is just creating the right atmosphere and the right camaraderie between the two of you where -- yeah, basically where you don't feel like you've got to say sorry, where you're rooting for each other basically.
IAN POULTER: No, I've had ever had to say sorry to anybody thankfully. Hopefully your good shots outweigh the bad shots over four days and you can keep saying, "Good shot, well done," as opposed to sorry. Yeah, that's something we hopefully won't be doing.

Q. Could you talk about the first time you met and whether there was an instant rapport between you?
IAN POULTER: It was love at first sight (laughter) sorry.
Yeah, it was at the French Open in 1999. Justin was on the putting green. I was first reserve. And it was looking like I wasn't going to make it in the event and I was just chipping and putting, and Justin was on the green doing his routine.
JUSTIN ROSE: He tried to kneecap me (laughter).
IAN POULTER: We just went over and started chatting to each other and we hit it off from there really. And soon after that, we started rooming together and we got married in 2000 -- (laughter). No we've just been good friends since then really. It's been pretty good fun.

Q. Did you get into that tournament?
IAN POULTER: No, I went home depressed.
I think on a serious note, it's been a great friendship and it's been a nice rivalry, as well. The tournament we played at the British Masters at Woburn, that to me is probably one of the most memorable events in terms of how nice you can play as rivals, and actually enjoy the day.
You know, I come off finishing second, but you know, it's got to go down as one of the most thrilling 18 holes I've ever played. Collectively I think we made 15 birdies, and there were smiles the whole way through. It was a great week, and that's been a healthy rivalry between the two, and a good friendship.
You know, I get inspired when Justin plays well, because he's your friend, but also you want to feel as if you're competing, as well. And if you are in a period of the year where you're not playing well and one of your best mates is up there winning or playing great, you want to be up there winning, and he kind of -- I think in some ways, it inspires you to go and play well. So it's been very healthy.

Q. In 1999, you were quite young at that time; did you have many mates on Tour at the time, or was Ian your first sort of close friend?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I did, but probably not like I do now obviously. I probably felt slightly less comfortable on Tour than I would at this point.
I think that was a key time really in my career. I think it was about when I virtually stopped playing The European Tour and I started playing some Challenge Tour events, and that's when Ian and I started rooming together was on the Challenge Tour I think -- yeah, that's right.
I think I learned a lot from him at that point, because you know, the way he seemed to be having a lot more fun than I was having at that particular point in my career. We were rooming together and would go out to dinner and have a laugh, and there would be much more laughing going on than, you know, since I turned pro I suppose.
I think that was an important part of me improving as a player was kind of learning to enjoy myself, as well, out on Tour. Yes, I think that was a key period where I felt like, you know, for example, Poulter, the music going on, blaring in the room, that sort of thing, which was something that I necessarily wouldn't have done, and it was quite an insightful period for me I thought. I actually learned a lot from that.
And obviously his confidence, as well. I saw Poults, I was rooming with him when he went out and won a couple of tournaments, I think, as well, and how he went about that, as well, I thought was interesting. I learned a lot.

Q. What did you learn from Justin, Ian, at that same time?
IAN POULTER: Well, Justin, you could see Justin's potential in how he had played, certainly in that Open in the rounds that he put together at the time.
You know, Justin, he was going through a tough period, but to see somebody with the will and determination to keep pressing on and keep working on his game; he knew deep down inside that if he kept working that he would be where he is today.
And, you know, that's good to see in people when they never, ever, ever give up, and you need that. It would be very easy for someone at that age to just crumble, and Justin hasn't done that. Look at where he is today. He's eighth in the world; that's inspiring. You could see that from day one. He was always going to be where he is now, and he's going to keep going.

Q. Could you each say what it is you like about the other's game?
IAN POULTER: Yeah. Go on.
JUSTIN ROSE: Without putting too much pressure on him, I can roll it four foot by and he's going to knock it in coming back. (Laughter).
IAN POULTER: I think vice versa at the minute.
No, I mean, how Justin's played this year -- to play 21 events is it? To play 21 events and the way he's played every event, he's been in contention pretty much every week. It's nice to know that you've got a partner that he's playing that well, and you know he's going to hit a good shot. You know pretty much all day you're going to be in position, and if I do my job, I know Justin's going to be doing his job, and you can just -- you feel comfortable.
You know you're going to be in position all day, and that is quite reassuring to have a partner that is in great form and you can rely on him.
JUSTIN ROSE: More importantly I think down the stretch, I think Ian is obviously a very good finisher of golf tournaments. And should there come a point on Sunday where if we're in with a chance, obviously to have confidence in your partner, that's going to be able to get across the finish line, as well, is very, very important.

Q. Ian, you've been in China a few times, and it's the first trip for Justin, so have you told him a bit about playing golf in China? And what about your outfit this week, is it going to be your style more or Justin's more conservative style?
IAN POULTER: No, I haven't told him about golf in China yet. We've only just -- we've only just pretty much got together, so we've been talking more about other stuff.

Q. Are you going to show him around town maybe?
IAN POULTER: You know, I don't even know if we're going to have enough time to do that. By the time we do our work in the morning, play golf in the afternoon and then fitness and stretching and stuff after, time is going to be running out for having a look around the sights. But if we manage to find time, we might go have dinner in town maybe.

Q. What about your outfit this week? It's going to be more your style?
IAN POULTER: Well, I don't know really. I think we'll be fairly well colour-coordinated (flashing playful smile). I might have asked him what colours he was thinking about wearing and he quite happened to come up with a good colour scheme.
Yeah, we'll be fairly colour-coordinated for the whole week. We've had a lovely Rose-Poulter tartan made especially for the week -- no, we didn't.

Q. Who do you think will be the favourite team in this World Cup besides the team from England?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think Denmark have got a good team, (Søren) Hansen and (Anders) Hansen. Obviously South Africa are a good team. I mean, everybody's a good team. Certainly everyone can get out there and throw up a surprise. Obviously China I think has got a good team; with the local support, that could be very, very important. And Sweden, as well. I think Peter Hanson has been playing very, very well and obviously Robert Karlsson was in the hunt last week, and I think that's a good team, too.

Q. And have you decided what the strategy is when you play four-balls or foursomes, who is going to be more aggressive or who will play the even holes or odd holes?
IAN POULTER: We haven't discussed that yet. We haven't played 18 holes, so today's Pro-Am will be pretty key really to go and work out our way around the golf course and see how it fits our eye. We'll be having a chat tonight, I'm sure, and certainly the four-ball tomorrow, it gives us two days to work out a foursomes strategy.

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