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


July 16, 2008

Justin Rose


MALCOLM BOOTH: Ladies and gentlemen, we've got Justin Rose with us. Thanks for joining us. I'm sure you've been asked many, many times over the last few months how this week is going to pan out given the events of 1998. Now that we're here, what are your thoughts as you look back ten years ago and also the championship this week.
JUSTIN ROSE: I still don't know how the week is going to pan out yet, but obviously it's been exciting to have been here, to be here. Obviously this place has lots of wonderful memories for me, and actually I've just really enjoyed my first couple days here. I've enjoyed my practise rounds, I've enjoyed playing the golf course, and generally I've had a sort of nice -- I've really enjoyed the vibe of the tournament so far.
Today is obviously a nice little testing day, and I decided to skip most of my practise today, really. I've played two rounds of golf already. I played Monday and Tuesday, and today has been more of a rest day and just sharpen up the short game.

Q. Did you avoid playing today because of the conditions, or were you going to miss today anyhow? Could you talk about the wind?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, basically I played 18 on Monday and Tuesday, and obviously I wouldn't play 18, 18, 18 before a major anyway. So I felt like I had done a lot of the work anyway, and I came here in May, as well. I felt like I had seen the golf course enough times.
You know, a day like today is obviously -- if the conditions blow like this tomorrow, it's really -- it's just survival anyway. There's not a whole bunch you can learn out there. It is just brutally tough, and you've just got to go out there and deal with it on the day.
My plan today was to play four holes, that little loop that you can play, 15, 16, 17, 18, but I'm pretty comfortable with my strategy, game plan playing the golf course, so I wasn't under pressure to have to play today should I not want to.

Q. How much have things changed from ten years ago from what you've seen so far?
JUSTIN ROSE: To be honest with you, I think -- I can't really identify the changes individually, but it just feels like the course as a whole has just got a lot more teeth to it. It's obviously got some added length, and I know they've moved the odd bunker around. It just feels like the course has a lot of really well-placed bunkers out there that make you think almost when the wind blows in both directions, which is obviously what links course -- that's the amazing thing about links courses. The way they're designed certain bunkers come into play with one wind direction and others come into play in another wind direction.
I think all in all the golf course is more of a driving test, more of a test off the tee than possibly it was in the past, and I think it's a great, great golf course. But certainly with all the changes they've made, the course still feels very much the same. They haven't gone there and changed the character of the golf course.

Q. Could I ask you, ten years is a long time ago now, but it was of tremendous impact back then. When you're not thinking about more pressing matters, do you ever reflect on the pressure that brilliant performance bought to you at such a tender age? Was it a pure asset or was it a bit of a burden at times, as well? I know it's history, but if you could go back on that briefly.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure. It's an interesting question. Just to cover some old ground, I was turning pro after the Open Championship in 1998 no matter what happened. My reason for doing that was I felt like I had done not everything in the amateur game but a lot of what I wanted to achieve and I was just keen to turn pro and get going. I thought I'd turn pro quietly and get some experience under my belt before Q-school at the end of the year. That was the grand plan. And also looking back I think my dad, myself, my family, my advisors, we thought it was going to take me three years to really establish myself onto the European Tour.
That turned out to be a remarkably accurate three-year plan, but I think my expectations changed, everybody else's expectations of me changed, and I think therefore that ended up being a bit of a burden.
But at the same time a lot of doors were opened for me where I gained a lot of very valuable experience and some tough lessons were learned, as well. Ultimately it's tough to look back and want to change anything because I feel like I've come through a stronger person, a better player hopefully. But had you not had the hard times, who knows what would have happened. It's a what-if question, but those are my thoughts on it, really.

Q. Do you think you've been fairly judged or harshly judged since ten years ago because of the attention that it brought to you?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think I've always been very fairly judged. It's not often you can miss 21 cuts and -- no one is ever going to say anything nice about that because obviously there's not much good stuff to say. But I've always felt like I had a great relationship with the people out on the golf course and they've always supported me and they've stuck with me. So from that perspective, I feel I couldn't have asked for any more.
Obviously I think also through the media and stuff like that, I've never felt -- there's good articles, bad articles, but there's been nothing I've felt was too harsh I don't think.

Q. Despite the passage of ten years and the changes to the course, do you think this venue gives you the best chance of winning this championship?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I hope so, yeah. I've always felt like I tend to play well on the tougher courses, and this certainly is one. This is a fair golf course, so whenever you play a fair test, you can't argue with it. You've got to think, well, this gives me a great chance to play the golf that I want to play.
I think it's going to suit the guy that goes out there and -- yeah, pretty much tests your all-around game. You need to certainly drive the ball well. It's almost as good a driving test as a U.S. Open would be this week. So from that perspective, I feel like I'm swinging the club well, hitting the ball well, and I'm very comfortable on the golf course. I've got to say it gives me a decent chance.

Q. Despite all the experience you've had in the last ten years, if I could offer you now those four rounds from ten years ago and how you played, would you take them?
JUSTIN ROSE: Even par? I've got to believe that if I can put a little bit of my approach from '98 into my golf game now, hopefully I can go a little bit better. I think that's all I've got to say. I think that's what ten years of hard work have been about. Obviously '98 was a magical week. I don't think I can compare myself to it, I don't think I can necessarily try to live up to it, either. I think it was a week where I was the underdog, I was the amateur, I got the crowd behind me. It was just a very unique situation.
I think this week is just all about me going out and trusting my game and trusting the fact that I've matured a lot and I can put in the same kind of performance by through -- I guess going out there with the intent to do it rather than with the hope to do it as I did in '98.

Q. You just mentioned survival in the weather. With 30 mile-an-hour winds and the rain forecast for tomorrow, does that make a lot of the technical practise sessions in calm conditions almost redundant and you rely back on instinct to survive?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, very much so. When the wind gets to a certain level, I think it just purely becomes feel out there. You start to think, just punch things off the back foot. You can prepare for that to a certain extent, as well, but imagination comes into it. The yardage book goes out the window, and basically you've just got to rely on feel. That's hopefully where growing up in the UK and having played some really big events in some atrocious weather as an amateur and also through Open Championships and what have you, that's hopefully where that little bit of experience might just pay off.

Q. Do you believe in things like destiny and karma?
JUSTIN ROSE: This week maybe I do (smiling). 51 other weeks a year I don't.
To be honest with you, the way I'm looking at this week is that -- no, I'm not trying to put my chances of winning this tournament in the hands of fate. I think I want to just go out there and prepare hard, play hard and hopefully that's what does the trick for me, not just thinking, well, this place is a magical wonderland for me and it's going to happen anyway.
I think that's obviously the wrong way to prepare. I've got to come in here as a professional, and I've obviously been working towards it and I've been working hard this week, and I've got to trust that that's what's going to pay off.

Q. Instead of casting your mind back ten years, if you could throw it forward eight years, and if golf were in the Olympics in 2016, would you like to be a part of it, or do you wonder whether golf is really an Olympic sport?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's a good question. I think I'd love to be a part of it. Right now to have that opportunity, I mean, I think the Olympics is all about competing at the highest level, I mean, world records and things like that. That's what the Olympics means to me.
I think golf being such a great game and obviously a game where you can compete at the highest level, I think golf in the Olympics is fantastic, but I think what it needs is the players at the highest end of the game to be competing for the gold medal, obviously. So yeah, to have that opportunity in eight years' time would be fantastic. I'm not sure my wife would ever forgive me if I ever won a gold medal because she was a gymnast as a kid and that was one of her dreams, so if I stole that she might not be too happy.

Q. You did mention that you didn't think of this as some magical place that would necessarily return to provide magic for you, but throughout your career you've had some very good days since the tough days of trying to qualify. Have you ever had quite that buzz or that sensation, which was an innocent one, I guess, when you were a teenager, but has it ever come back to you, that thing that you maybe were riding fate or something quite like that?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I don't think so. I don't think I've ever had that -- not that same buzz, especially the way it finished. There's no bigger buzz I've ever experienced than that moment on the 18th green when that pitch shot went in. There's no doubt about it.
I think I've had as satisfying moments on the golf course but never quite that sort of -- that same sort of buzz, no.

Q. Do you imagine you will get it again? Is that something that is part of your thoughts for the future, that one day you will get that again?
JUSTIN ROSE: I very much hope so. I've always thought about what I achieved in '98 as being the next best thing to winning the Open Championship. I think for me to experience something bigger than what happened in '98, I certainly need to go on and win this golf tournament. That's the way I've always had it in my mind, had it set up in my mind. Obviously there's the opportunity this year to hopefully play Ryder Cup and these sorts of things, and I'm sure those are going to be huge opportunities to experience that buzz.
I think I'd need for me to win it to go one better than '98.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Thanks very much for joining us.

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