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October 1, 2008
ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND
SCOTT CROCKETT: Justin thanks, as always, for coming in and joining us, and welcome to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. You finished second last year here obviously and have a history of winning here in the amateur ranks in the past with the St Andrews Links Trophy; you must be looking to go one better this year.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yes, obviously it's a tournament I really enjoy and last year I felt I played really, really well, four rounds in the 60s. I think we had fantastic weather last year obviously and scoring is weather-dependent this week. I didn't win but if I didn't win I was pleased to see Nick Dougherty win but it would be nice to go one better this year.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You played with your sponsor last year, and this year you have Jamie Redknapp.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yes, we are both members of the wills sigh golf club just outside of London. Just got to go Jamie through a mutual friend, Matt Dawson, and just throughout the last couple of years gotten to know him and yeah, it will be a lot of fun out there and relaxed, and that's often the environment I try to crate and the environment I do try to play well in.
SCOTT CROCKETT: What have you been up to in the week and a half since The Ryder Cup?
JUSTIN ROSE: Went straight to Orlando after The Ryder Cup and spent five days there, and on the weekend I had to do some TaylorMade commitments in Atlanta, 2009 promotional shoots, and spent in the weekend in Atlanta. And relaxed Monday, yesterday practiced at Willesley, hit some balls, and first time I touched a club since The Ryder Cup and then flew up this morning.
Really obviously such a long week this one, if you try and play all the practice rounds, obviously all three courses, but I feel like I know all three courses well enough now to -- I may play a few holes this afternoon to get a feel for links golf again and how far the ball is going again, but I think I know the courses well enough to where I can just adapt very quickly.
Q. Ryder Cup question. What were your feelings like in the sort of day or two after The Ryder Cup, and the fact that you had worked so hard to qualify for the team; how did you deal with the loss?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think I was interested to hear people's take on The Ryder Cup. Obviously beginning to talk to people, I said what a wonderful spectacle it was on TV and how exciting it was to watch, the standard of golf that was played and the amount of birdies that were made. You don't really get that feel when you're actually playing in it. Each match you're playing individually and fighting hard. We realised we were playing some good golf, but to get the bigger picture I spoke to, it just sounded like we were beaten by a team who played incredibly good golf, and I think that's what The Ryder Cup is all about.
The way I see it is The Ryder Cup is a very competitive event, and it should -- for the good of The Ryder Cup, be a trophy that does change hands because both teams want to win as much as the other.
So I think it just boils down to the team that -- it was very simple to talk about just that team made more putts, and I think that's often been the way the Europeans have been described by the Americans when we win The Ryder Cup: "They just made more putts than we did," and it seemed like that this time around for them.
Q. Was there a feeling of deflation?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think because The Ryder Cup is not only just that one week. Obviously a lot goes into that particular week. It's an incredible busy week; it's an action-packed week; it's an emotion-charged week, and when you don't come away with a team victory, yeah, that's the whole goal and everybody gets behind that. Everyone is on that chain of thought.
And obviously for myself personally there were a lot of positives I could take from it as an individual but in some ways, it's a hollow victory when you play well yourself and the team doesn't win.
Also, not just the week itself, there's a month leading into the Ryder Cup and obviously I changed my schedule significantly to make The Ryder Cup Team and made a lot of sacrifices for it. And yes, it was disappointing that we didn't win as a team, but I think the sacrifices I made were worthwhile because it was an amazing experience and it was a great, great atmosphere to play in.
Q. The meeting last night and increasing the number of tournaments to be played in Europe are you familiar with that?
JUSTIN ROSE: No.
Q. You haven't read your Daily Telegraph this morning?
JUSTIN ROSE: No.
Q. It's grown from 11 to 12. And correct me if I've got this wrong, two of them have to be played in Europe; is that right?
SCOTT CROCKETT: That's correct. One of which can be the Open.
Q. What's your reaction to that?
JUSTIN ROSE: I still think it's something that should be easily attainable for somebody playing a worldwide schedule.
Obviously we are all about to enter a few phase of European golf with The Race to Dubai, which I think is very, very exciting and something I'm certainly going to want to support, and I think players in my position, as well, are going to want to support.
I think moving it from 11 to 12 is certainly not a distract change. I think if you are trying to look at maybe enticing some players who are not currently European Tour Members to join the Tour, it might still mean that one or two extra event you are asking somebody to play. And it might alter a schedule and being the difference of saying, yes, I will do it, because 11 is possible but 12 is a bit of a stretch.
Certainly for myself, I am very comfortable making 12 next year. I'm excited about The Race to Dubai, and obviously the 12th event, if you look at it, will be that season-ending event. So even if you didn't have to tailor your schedule, the one extra event would be the showdown at the end of the year in Dubai. So I guess that's the only event they are really asking you to add, so not too big a deal.
Q. Of all the majors, is the Open the one you still think is the one that will give you your best shot, and does playing links golf like this, is that an aid in the end?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think The Open Championship is still the one that I hold highest in my mind as the one I would dearly love to win the most, which can often mean it's the hardest one to win, not necessarily the best chance.
Also, I feel like I'm comfortable enough now in America, and to feel like I can win any one of those three major championships, as well. I've had some great rounds there where I've given myself the feeling that I can win on that golf course.
So I wouldn't say I'm putting pressure on myself to feel like The Open Championship is my best chance to be honest with you. I feel like maybe the Masters could be my best chance. Certainly playing links golf is something we don't get a chance to do very often, and tournaments like this are certainly a great help to sort of keep your eye and your hand on your links golf, there's no doubt about it.
Obviously this year at Birkdale we played in incredibly heavy wind all week long that you can only find on a links course. That kind of wind doesn't come on a parkland golf course at all. We could hear the tents hear flapping around. It's going to be that kind of week this week and a challenge I'll enjoy.
Q. You just mentioned the Masters as possibly your best chance; following Trevor's victory there, does it help the belief of that generation of players that they can actually do it at that level?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely, obviously Geoff Ogilvy was the start of it I felt at the U.S. Open. He's a guy I played amateur golf with and grew up playing with and you see as your peer and your friend. He obviously broke through winning the U.S. Open. Sergio is always in contention at major championships; obviously has not quite broken through yet. And then Trevor doing it at the Masters and doing it so convincingly is a sign that from a technical standpoint, my game can easily stand up to that. But he obviously clicked into a mind-set that week that was very special for him and he seemed incredibly focused and more focused than I've seen him before.
Like I say, he elevated that and he just found himself in that position that week where he was able to maintain a very high level of thought, I suppose, or a level of sort of mental confidence and he carried that through and it's not about the game as such; it's about creating the right mental approach to winning majors I think.
Q. Nothing very profound. You're a very patient-looking individual; you have no problem playing six-hour rounds this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not after seven-hour practice rounds at The Ryder Cup, no. It will be easy to play six hours here.
To be honest with you, tournaments like this, I enjoy. I enjoy the camaraderie of playing with a partner and having a bit of fun out there as well. I see it and I really take the team element on board this week.
You do come here as an individual professional, but it is a bit of a team element, too. I embrace that and try to help my partner out there, and I feel like if you're working on both parts of the tournament, the rounds do tend to go relatively quickly. A cup of soup on 9 is always a welcome break for ten or 15 minutes to warm up. This type of format, the Disney tournament in Florida I have also played well in, and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, I've played well in that. So it's something I'm pretty comfortable with.
Q. Taking you back to The Ryder Cup, you worked very hard to get on to the side this time. Having done that, are you more or less determined to get in next time? Does it raise your interest even further, or do you think, "I've done that"?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, it raised my interest even further. Especially now having the ability to play on a home crowd, partisan crowd, having the home crowd I think it would be a fantastic experience. Basically speaking to a lot of players who have played Ryder Cups in the past: David Howell, Ian Poulter Paul Casey, they say to me, once you've played one Ryder Cup, you never want to miss another one.
So I certainly will be trying my hardest, as of now, but as of September next year to really sort of start putting the points on early and trying to secure my spot on the team as soon as possible.
Q. Can you tell us about your memories playing here as an amateur in the Links Trophy?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure I've got very fond memories of that. My dad actually caddied for me the year I won it in '97. I won it in a playoff actually.
And I remember being on the first tee and I remember the young chap I played against, hit it into the hazard, the burn on the right-hand side there, and I said to my dad, "Should I hit 3-wood off the tee?"
And he said, "Look at the size of that fairway. Just get the driver out and hit it."
I said, "Okay, Dad." So I got the driver out, hit it down the middle, sand wedge on the green and 2-putt to win it. That's a fun memory.
I remember playing with Geoff Ogilvy in the Links Trophy and playing with him the first couple of days.
Q. The seven-hour practice rounds at The Ryder Cup, were they Nick's idea of fun or how did they evolve?
JUSTIN ROSE: Actually it was sort of a -- I think something that worked really well for teams in the past was the interaction, certainly in 2004, I think the team discussed that something that they felt working really well was how much time they gave to the crowd in terms of autographs, and almost in a sense getting the U.S. crowd as much as possible on your side; or helping them to be as pleasant as possible out there. And I think that the players who played in 2004 really felt they benefitted from the relationships they struck up with the crowd earlier in the week.
We certainly felt that we wanted to give a little bit of ourselves to the crowd that week to try and do the same thing, and I think that was the strategy really.
Q. Was it stretching things a bit, because I don't remember in 2004 that the rounds took anything like that long.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think because of the nature of that golf course and the walks between tees and the amount of people you can cram in there; there was a lot of people out there. And there were some walks to tees that were like a hundred yards long. So from that perspective, that's a lot of time to be walking and signing, and that added to the time signing on the golf course, and therefore, how long the practice rounds would take.
Q. Could you concentrate and was it helpful from a golfing point of view?
JUSTIN ROSE: From the first day our goal was to go out and see the golf course and get some sort of feel for it and look at the holes. I think the reason we did take seven hours is we did a lot of chipping and putting around the greens, as well. I stopped the 30 minutes for lunch because after nine holes, I could feel like I was tiring. So I had a nice break and a good lunch and the back nine we got through it pretty easily.
Everyone recognised that we had a very long day on the Monday -- on the Tuesday, sorry, and we played nine and nine on the next two days, which I believe was the same schedule as the Americans. So I don't think you can look at our preparation and their preparation as a big area of change or difference in terms of an advantage or disadvantage.
I think one area that was interesting is that holes like the second hole, we practiced from the back tee, and then on the first day we get up there and the tee is 60 yards forward. And from the back tee you have to hit down the right-hand side and hit a medium iron to the green. Whereas, the tee is 60 yards up and suddenly there was a completely different line off the tee and we walk to the tee on Friday morning and were like, where do you aim this one. This was quite an interesting change which obviously the Americans knew what was going to happen and we didn't.
There were certain elements of home-course advantage, which is certainly within their rights to be able to set the course up like that.
Q. Going back to your determination to make the 2010 Ryder Cup Team, have you had any thoughts of which captain you'd like to be playing under?
JUSTIN ROSE: I haven't actually. Obviously Woosie was incredibly successful as a captain. Being Wales, to me, that's not a bad fit. But to be honest with you, obviously I don't really know the thoughts of where everyone is. Jose was great. I've got a lot of respect for Jose and I think he will be a great captain when his chance comes or his turn comes. Whether he feels that's too soon for him, I don't know.
Obviously there was talk about Sandy again. For me, I certainly know Sandy, but he's not somebody I have a close connection with or somebody I've gotten to know very well.
But any Ryder Cup captain you'll look up to for what he's achieved in the game, and especially as a young player, you can learn a lot from any of them, and all of the names being ban died around.
Q. What about a Sandy Lyle/Ian Woosnam, captain/vice captain; would that appeal to you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's whatever gets everybody's support on the same team. That's what it's all about really is everyone getting behind everybody else and it being a team environment. And I think if that's -- yeah, that's certainly fine with me, do you know what I mean. I think Woosie in Wales, that's certainly going to bring the people out and get everybody very, very excited, and I think that's what you want from a home crowd.
Q. Do you feel with Kaymer and Rory coming up behind you, do you feel there's a resurgence of European golf in The Ryder Cup and there's about to be a new hero?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think this year was the first new-look European side there has been for a long time. Obviously Darren and Monty unfortunately missed out and they have been regular faces on the European Ryder Cup Team for quite some time. So those guys missing out, and the four of us rookies coming in, that's the start of change.
I think Martin has shown a lot of intelligence in coming out and getting a feel for it and took the opportunity to do that. I think that will stand him in good stead not just for the next Ryder Cup but this week, next week and the week after. I'm sure he learned a lot just witnessing what goes on and the stuff that can help him perform under pressure in regular tournaments, too.
I think obviously Rory McIlroy has really just started to play good golf again, great talent. Yeah, the future is bright for European golf no, doubt about it. That's guys I've played amateur golf with and team golf with in the past, as well, so for me that's a really exciting change in times.
Q. Do you see this group dominating the same generation of Americans in majors and Ryder Cups to come?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't necessarily see it as dominating, no. You have to look at the Americans now having for the first time in a long time having many young players coming through as well. I think Hunter Mahan is a really solid player and Anthony Kim is clearly a great talent. So there are a couple of guys there just to name a couple of them that have the ability to perform in major championships.
I would say sometimes it takes a little bit more experience for a European to come through in the major championships than it might do for a young American to come through in the major championships, just because there is more of a similarity between European Tour golf -- inaudible -- and Americans playing American golf and turning up at a major championship because three of the four of them are in America. There are good players on both sides of the Atlantic right now and it's exciting times ahead, really.
Q. Do you or any of the other players have any thoughts about whether if Nick had more than one assistant captain, it might have helped him?
JUSTIN ROSE: Being my first Ryder Cup, I'm probably not the best person to ask because what I felt went on felt perfectly normal and adequate and I felt like Nick was a good captain. I don't have anything to compare it to, do you know what I mean, so I felt very happy with my preparation and the advice that was given to me and the opportunities that were given to me that week to go out and play well.
So really, I really don't feel like I can comment either way on that question. Like I say, I felt like I got everything I needed to perform well that week and I didn't feel like there was a gap where we missed out.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Justin, thank you very much.
End of FastScripts