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October 29, 2008

Justin Rose


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Justin, thanks for joining us, defending champion this week obviously. End of an era, Volvo Masters, finishing and the start of a new one next week. A big two weeks, your thoughts on that, and carry on from there.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, very much so. Obviously this event has been such a huge event on The European Tour for so long, and it's a shame that it is coming to an end, but I believe that there's some exciting times ahead for Europe, for European golf and I'm excited about playing this week, being the last Volvo Masters and also next week, the first of The Race to Dubai. You're right, two great weeks, two big tournaments and I'm looking forward to them both.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: How is the form?
JUSTIN ROSE: Form, I don't think anyone feels like they are playing well on that golf course, and if they are, I want to talk to them!
It's just really hard out there right now, that's the way it feels. It feels like it's a tough course but that's what it was last year, it was more of a battle being able to play great golf. You feel like you're going to make some mistakes and how you deal with mistakes that's going to be key out there. You have to get the ball up-and-down on occasions, and such small greens, the winds being what it is, you're simply not going to hit that many greens out there, so it's a slightly different attitude this week. I think you need to not quite worry about exactly how you're playing but more how resilient you're feeling.

Q. There are four people who could win the Order of Merit this year, and that is Karlsson, Harrington, Westwood and Jiménez, on paper at least. Could you just go through their respective merits?
JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously Miguel Angel Jiménez has a great record around Valderrama if I'm not mistaken. Didn't he nearly win the World Golf Championship that was here? Any time that you have a plaque at the golf club with your name on it, that's a good sign and a good start, on the 17th where he made two.
So, yeah, he obviously could be a dark horse this week. I think obviously you have to look at -- Harrington has to finish second to have any sort of chance, I think so.
So you've got to look at all those guys being right up there. If I put myself back in that position as I was last year, sometimes it's nice to know what you have to do, especially when you have a clear objective. I guess with Padraig it's a very, very similar situation to what he faced last year, and I remember that he was on the leaderboard pretty much all week, as was I. So we both got off to good starts, and I think that's the key tomorrow for those four guys. It could be a long week if you don't really get off to a good start.
Certainly if one of their names appears on the leaderboards, they will catch the attention of the No. 3 no doubt about it.
Going through their merits, they speak for themselves in a lot of ways. Karlsson has had an incredible season based on consistency. He had a couple victories for sure but he's played consistently so well. Padraig, it's kind of strange to think that you can win two majors and maybe not win The European Tour Order of Merit. But again, it's tough -- I don't think I was feeling too sorry for Padraig should it not happen. He's had an incredible year and won two fantastic tournaments.
Lee has had another really great season and has played great golf and I think he can win any week, as well. Four guys that really deserve to have a chance to win the Order of Merit.

Q. In one word can you just describe your season?
JUSTIN ROSE: Disappointing, one word.

Q. Can you just explain why?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think it's been a little bit of a -- I think schedule-wise, I feel like I've slightly messed up this year a little bit. I feel like I set my schedule up, as it's turned out -- it's interesting. What worked so well for me last year has not worked well for me this year and that's taking quite a bit of time off, taking weeks off before the majors. I feel like the way my schedule has panned out this year has been stops and starts, and stops and starts, and I don't feel like I've got a lot of momentum going. That's probably one area I can look at.
It's interesting, sometimes what worked so well last year you think you need to implement next year but just goes to show you, you always have to adapt and there's no hard and fast way to do things and sometimes we think you've figured it out and sometimes you still need to have the ability to adapt and change things to a certain extent.

Q. Did you thought you'd cracked the secret?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, but it was the first year that I had not played in a lot of golf and in the past always played about 30 weeks a year and last year I played only -- I don't know what it was, 22 or 23, which is a lot more than Tiger and Phil and these sort of guys do. It began to feel like that's actually the way to do it to be mentally fresh, but sometimes you need to play your way into a bit of form, too, and I just feel like occasionally this year, I just didn't give myself an opportunity.
I've had spells where I've played really well and tournaments where I've played really well but found I was taking a week off and you come back out and it just kind of -- things just didn't click again. Things are close. There's always no doubt. Your good golf is never far away. I played last week at Castellón and this week and next week as well. I was not going to play initially next week but wanted to get a run of three, and even end of the year get a run of form.
I still feel relatively fresh, but the exciting thing about this year is I ever kind of been injury-free and that's a big part of what I wanted to achieve this year, I didn't took a bit of time off at the end of last season to get myself fit and get rid of the couple of hiccups I had last year. So in that way it's been successful.

Q. Can you take us through your unusual buildup to your opening round last year, the hour before you went out on the first tee?
JUSTIN ROSE: I guess without being too graphic about it all, but yeah, I had a tough night really. I had the paramedics in at the villa I was in, so I was on a drip before I got in and I was decorating the bushes by the media centre 30 minutes before teeing up.
So I had really -- it's an interesting thing last year. I guess I had no expectation this is week and that happened a few times last year where I was coming off a back injury or something and went into a tournament with no expectations and those are the weeks I tend to play my best, so tells me something.
I guess the key was getting off to a good start. I had a hole-in-one on the third hole and birdied four or five and suddenly I was leading the tournament pretty much from the word go and the adrenaline kicked in and things went from there. I was able to hang in, but had I started slow, I think it would have been a long, long week for me.

Q. How did you enjoy your first Ryder Cup?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's the highlight of the season no doubt about it. I missed the FedExCup and all that in America to qualify for The Ryder Cup and come back to Europe and that certainly was a decision I was very, very happy with.
Yeah, The Ryder Cup was fantastic, and everything I hoped it would be, other than the result. I think we all went then believing that we would win. We didn't win, but the atmosphere that the Ryder Cup creates is a lot of fun to play golf in.

Q. I'm not quite clear on whether you're playing by invitation or was the precedent set last year when previous champions --
JUSTIN ROSE: I believe the precedent was set when Bernhard Langer, I believe, won it the year before and didn't qualify the following year into the Top 60, so I believe. I think last year was more of a unique case because it was 20 years, and that's why they invited past champions. But since Langer qualified, I believe.

Q. At least you have the opportunity to come back?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to come back and play. There's been a lot of talk this week, of why am I playing, first, but I think it's pretty obvious that this event is about being Top 60 and if I was put somewhere other than where I many, I would be interrupting the flow of the draw in terms of everyone playing with who they should be playing with.
But the fact I'm playing first, I'm more than happy with that, whiz around. I don't think I have a marker, and I have the option and I think I'd rather not, so that's my decision. I think I would rather have nobody getting in my way. I've never played with a marker before, so I would not want to have a situation of being out there with a marker and feeling frustrated by having a marker rather hand just get out there and play and I've only got myself to blame, no one else.

Q. Might be a funny question, but do you feel lonely playing on your own instead of having a Buddy playing alongside you?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's a situation I've never had to deal with before. Obviously when you go out and play on your own at your home club and you practice, that's quite a nice feeling. I love being on the course on my own and gives you time to think and and enjoy it. It's a different situation when you're in a competitive round of golf. It will just give me some extra time. I think I was in a twoball at the US PGA in a threeball field, which I guess is somewhat similar in terms of we were always having to wait.
But the fact I'm first out gives me a chance to have a nice rhythm. But I do enjoy that extra time, that five or ten seconds to read the putts, and sometimes that can be a good thing.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Justin, good luck for the week.

End of FastScripts

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