home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 13, 2008

Justin Rose


STEWART MOORE: We'd like to welcome Justin Rose to the interview room here at the Northern Trust Open. You know, Justin, a fantastic 2007 for you. You moved up to No. 7 in the Official World Golf Rankings right now. How do you pull all of the success of 2007 into 2008, and on that note, what are your goals for this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think it's obviously sometimes good to not have to start fresh, to kind of feel like you're walking from the last green of the last tournament this year straight to the first tee this year. Obviously there has been quite a bit of time off in between, but that was sort of reminiscent of my year last year. I had two periods of five and six weeks off during the year, but I managed to still keep my momentum going even through those layoff periods.
So, yeah, I'm not really trying to, I guess, wipe the slate clean. I'm just trying to keep the momentum going and keep rolling.
STEWART MOORE: New sponsor made quite a splash with the purse and Pro-Am format, fewer amateurs; how was that out there this morning?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, we had a great time. I played with Tim from Northern Trust today, as well, and so obviously we are talking about their plans for the tournament. And they really want to make it a great event for the players, one that we are really going to enjoy, and obviously the families and the crowd, too, and the fans.
Yeah, the Pro-Am today was great. I felt like we got around in good time. Yeah, I think the first group, I think they played in just over four hours, which is kind of unheard of in a Pro-Am. Yeah, it was a good day out there and the course is in great shape and I think everybody had fun.

Q. You had back issues at certain times last year around the Masters and towards the end of the year; is that now behind you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I hope so -- well, yeah, it is behind me. I think it's something that is always there. I think that you've got to realize there's a weakness there, but I think it's important to realize it can be managed. I've got to stay very disciplined with my workouts and my stretching and also with my schedule.
So you know, I think what I learned around my back and the habits I felt into, it's certainly a situation that can be managed, and I should be able to play no problem.

Q. When you think back to what your goals might have been, say, four years ago, would you have thought it possible to become the European No. 1 before getting your first Ryder Cup spot?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I guess the sequence doesn't necessarily fit, but I notice another European No. 1 there actually many times. Hopefully it's obviously, not a stepping stone, but it's obviously helping me a long way towards the Ryder Cup this year, which is obviously a big goal of mine.
But yeah, last year, the Order of Merit came along, it wasn't necessarily a huge goal -- well, it wasn't a goal of mine at the beginning of the year. But when I played well in the right events and I saw myself climbing up the Order of Merit, it really did become a goal of mine, and certainly I pushed hard for it at the end of the year.

Q. Last year you came over early and played the Hope, and I believe Pebble Beach, and this year you chose to go to the Middle East. Any particular reason, you or do you just like to flop around a little bit?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, this is actually my first event of the year. I haven't played yet this year. This is my first event anywhere, and really just the reason for that, just to clear it up is what we are talking about health-wise, just wanted to get myself fit and strong and take a long-term approach. I thought the six weeks I would invest in my fitness would pay dividends down the road somewhere.

Q. You had obviously a very good Hope last year, right there until the last few holes.
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I enjoy the format of those. I think the Hope and Pebble Beach are great events to have at the beginning of the year, they are very relaxed and a great way to start your year, sometimes slightly less intense way to get into things.
Yeah, the schedule was purely based around spending some time on the fitness.

Q. Can you give me an idea of your schedule up coming, and is it going to be any different this year from last year, per se?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, yeah, I mean, I actually missed the whole of the Florida Swing -- I missed all of Florida last year through injury, so I'm really looking forward to playing the Florida Swing again, and I'll probably play the majority of that. I might flip-flop one or two events depending on the Match Play, how that goes. That can be a very short or a very long week.
So I think keeping an eye on that in terms of my exact Florida schedule, but certainly looking forward to that, as I missed it all last year, and obviously I live in Orlando, so that's good.

Q. How much time exactly did you take off from golf?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think all in all it was nine weeks. I took three weeks off where I didn't touch a club -- yeah, it was about four weeks actually where I didn't touch a club and then four or five weeks really hard work.

Q. When you talk about you worked six weeks on your fitness regime, did you take up anything to help with the back, like yoga or Pilates?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really. I've got a great fitness trainer I work with, his name is Cam Barber. I've worked with him for five years. I think he's really kept me out of a lot of trouble with my back. He's a great physio, as well. He's been putting together my training regimes. A lot of it is general strength, too, strengthening the back but also trying to strengthen other part of my body. Just general development really.

Q. Mention was made there of your goals for the year, and I don't know if you've said anything about them just yet, but do you like talking about your goals, or do you feel that puts unnecessary pressure on you? Your friend, Ian Poulter, spoke about his goals recently and got himself into a bit of trouble.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think I'll learn from his mistakes. (Laughter).
Listen, I'm not that comfortable talking about my goals right now, but I think the important thing is to realize that goals are worth -- they are there to be put out there in your own mind. You flow out your goals and you dream big and you've got to set lofty goals, but it's important to realize what takes care of the goals and not take your eye off the fact that it's a day-to-day process.
I talked a lot last year about process and the things I was doing well in my preparation. It's those things I have to take care of, and obviously the goals then take care of themselves to a certain extent. But it's the day-to-day stuff that I'm a lot more interested in this year and trying to refine.
Last year, I felt like I did a lot of things right, and I kept a lot of things consistent through the year, and I certainly don't want to change that. I just want to maybe just refine it just a little bit this year.

Q. You and Paul Casey and Luke Donald obviously are Englishmen who come and play the full schedule here. Do you feel a tug between your home country, I know people would like to you play over there, and the papers feature you guys; do you feel like divided, a man between two countries?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, a little bit, especially now that last year went so well and I became European No. 1, etc., etc., I think there is more of a pull for sure. And I think especially with The European Tour adding in The Race to Dubai and things like this, I think there's going to be even more of a pull come 2009, so I'm expecting to maybe have to play there a little bit more in 2009.
But obviously the Ryder Cup is always a big goal to make sure you're playing enough in Europe to be, firstly, eligible for the Ryder Cup Team, and second, to give yourself a good chance to make the team.
So there's always good reasons to go back and play, and it's about trying to balance your schedule and balance the amount of traveling that you do, too.

Q. Just to follow up to that, do you see yourself playing more in Europe toward the end of this year than normal?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's the way I set my schedule out last year. I focused on the FedExCup January to September, and went back and played the flagship event in Europe, which is the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. And other than that I really focused on America and after September I really focused on Europe and I felt for me that was the best way -- that gave myself the best chance to do well on both, I guess, Money Lists, really.
So I guess I'll use that as my model again this year, but I think 2009 is going to change a little bit. There's talk about the minimum number of events going up in Europe, so I'll have to keep an eye on that in terms of my schedule, and obviously The Race to Dubai thing is very exciting, as well.
So, yeah, we'll have to -- but that's probably now two years down the track for that one.

Q. Just turning it towards the British Open and Birkdale, of course, you'll be going back there with rather nice memories.
JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly, yeah. That's going to be ten years since I first turned pro, which will be kind of -- it's amazing to think like that.
But yeah, I'm sure it's going to be, well I'm looking forward to all of the majors again. I felt like last year was a good year for me in the majors again. I'm looking forward to trying to keep that going and getting better and better in the majors.
But, yeah, Birkdale is going to be I guess one that's going to be -- I don't want it to be a walk down memory lane. That's what I've got to be careful of. I just want to go there and really be focused and go there to do a good job there that week. So I've got to be very mindful of all of the distractions that might come up that week.

Q. Walking down memory lane, obviously that's a golf course you like and play well, and when you get around there, I don't know if you've been back in the ten years, when you get around there, I'm sure you'll remember the shots and it will be a confidence builder.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely. I think it's important to go back there and feed off the good, positive memories and images and stuff that you'll have. I'll probably do that to be honest with you the week before I arrive at the tournament. I'll get it a bit out of my system, a bit like Augusta. It's nice to get up there the week before the tournament, for me, and you get the "wow" factor out of your system and you can get down to business when the tournament starts.
Yeah, it's important for me to at least recognize what might happen that week.

Q. What is it in your mind that keeps drawing the top players in the world to this tournament? You've got 17 out of the top 20 and year after year, it's like that. What is it in your mind that keeps you guys playing this tournament?
JUSTIN ROSE: I guess it's the golf course really. I think ultimately whenever you play on a good could have course, you generally attract a good field.
Like you said this year, new sponsor, I think they have really, like you say, upped the purse and there's a good buzz about the event, so Northern Trust have done a good job with that.
Ultimately I think the golf course is a large part of a good field I think.

Q. Any new equipment in the bag? I notice TaylorMade as a new driver and putter out, are you trying any of that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Actually, yeah, right now -- well what's definitely in play is the new ball. Obviously I had a lot of success with my golf ball last year, but I've changed from the TP Black to the new TP Red LDP, which is I guess a switch I didn't really envisage making.
I was very happy with my ball but through testing I was kind of blown away how good the ball is especially around the greens and the wedge play. I actually felt my wedge play was one of the weakest parts of my game last year, so I'm hoping that will be a big help to me this year.
Certainly with the driver, that's an exciting product, and I used it actually very well in the Pro-Am today. So I'm going to go and make a decision now whether it's in the bag tomorrow. But I'm obviously hopeful that I'll be working that product into play, which is the new Tour Burner.

Q. Can you give me an idea of what you go through when you test a ball? Do you start off driver or do you start from the green back with it, and is this the first time it's going to go into play?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, this is the first time it's going to go in play. And for me, I start from the green back. For me the ball needs to perform around the greens first and foremost. I guess you putt your ball, obviously, every shot, basically -- well, the ball is -- basically, every shot you hit is the ball. So to me the ball is the most important piece of equipment in the bag, so therefore, it needs to be right.
Yeah, I like to start around the greens. I need to know that ball, that I can trust it around the greens, firstly, and get the ball up-and-down. That's where the scoring is. I spend the majority of my practice on my short game, and therefore, that's kind of where I see the priority really.
But yeah, actually what was really interesting is that the ball is softer, it's better around the greens, but it actually picked up a little bit of ball speed off my driver, too, which is really kind of very interesting.

Q. The decision to perhaps increase the number of events required for European Tour members at this point to 13, what do you feel about that, and can you understand where they might be coming from; so many tournaments in Europe are struggling to keep their sponsors, some of the old, traditional tournaments.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I can see where they are coming from, certainly. I guess like the PGA TOUR did here with the FedExCup, it's obviously a new concept. And I think maybe obviously The European Tour feels with their new concept and with the big bonus pool at the end of the year, there's obviously a lot more reason, or they feel like they are in a better position to demand a little bit more from the players, which I think that they are.
Yeah, like I said, I'm expecting to have to adapt my schedule a little bit 2009 and to fit in with that.
STEWART MOORE: Justin, thanks for your time.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297