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February 1, 2009

Justin Rose


Q. That was as good a run as you could have done.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, no doubt about it. Obviously yeah, I'm obviously pleased for Rory, first and foremost, and I knew the situation coming in. The wind really picked up and it's hard to close out your first win. I just knew I had to stick around.
I really wasn't trying to focus on the tournament. I was trying to focus on what I was trying to do. You know, I was really into my own sort of goals out there and my own shot-making. That was my goal this week was to not get involved in the leaderboard. But I knew what was happening towards the end there, and obviously I knew certainly on the 18th green, I make my putt, I'm in a playoff at worst.
For Rory, I'm pleased and well done. You know how much this means to him, and certainly a win at this stage of the season would have been fantastic for me, as well, and I certainly wasn't trying to miss my putt. (Laughing).
It takes guts after having a finish like that to have to step up and up-and-down from the back trap and hole a 4-footer. You can kind of -- he holed actually a couple of nice putts. He holed a nice putt on 16 and a decent putt on 17. He was doing a lot of things well and it took a lot of guts just to hole that putt.

Q. What did you actually say to him when you embraced?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think I told him he deserved it, you know what I mean. He really did. He played a lot of great golf out there, and it was certainly his week, I think. From day one, he just looked like it was his tournament. I snuck in there at the end, but that was my goal. I just didn't want to go away and I was just trying to be really mentally strong. I really turned it around this week.
I had two aspects of my game that worked really well. I drove the ball really well this week which is what you need to do. I put the new R9 into play, and often takes me a while to get a new driver into play, but the R9 was really good and picked up yardage. Managed to make the most of some of the par 5s which is key on this golf course, and I putted well. I really went back to some of my old thoughts and ideas and old routines and I feel like that really worked well for me under pressure.

Q. Did it bring back any memories watching Rory over today of your own teenage feats?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, even with Louis, I was feeling like the old guy in the group. Times are changing.
But I guess I played like the old guy today. I played like the experienced guy, just hung around, didn't go away and I guess that's what you learn in this game. Rory and Louis, they played incredible golf shots.
Yeah, like I said, with the crowd were behind him, and I think often I find when I've got the crowd behind me; and it was kind of interesting to play with the crowd behind him. It was nice to see.

Q. Thoughts of going for the green in two or were you too far back?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm sure, I was in a situation, no matter which way you play, you have to cross the water, and I knew Rory was in the same situation. That's not an easy wedge shot, as it proved. You've literally got eight yards to land it and it's a bit of a cross breeze into. It's like the 17th at Sawgrass. It looks big when you have to hit it under pressure.
I was hoping he would not necessarily make a mistake and I wanted to make birdie there, but I knew it was possible, so I wanted to stay in the hole. I even made a mistake myself on the lay up. I wanted to get as far down as possible to take as much spin off the third shot but we thought the wind was kind of straight into me and when I walked up, you could feel it was mainly off to the right-hand side.

Q. Did you think the putt was in?
JUSTIN ROSE: I hit a good putt. I hit a good putt. It was always on the high side. I wasn't going to hit it with a lot of pace. I was trying to dive it in there but hit it maybe a foot too hard. Kept my head down and struck it sweetly so, that feels good.
It's good to know what it feels like to battle for. It it was exactly what happened at Valderrama.

Q. How was the course?
JUSTIN ROSE: I haven't played since 2001 or 2002. I always struggle in the desert. I finds it's a tough start of golf because they grow the rough quickly and it's generally windy and it's not a lot of room to land the ball in with the crosswinds and stuff. It's a tough start of golf. And the greens got really baked out today as well. There were a couple areas around the hole that got interesting. With a little bit of nerve, it's tough to be playing out there.

Q. You'll take a lot of positives of your own performance?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I will. You start out the year, miss the cut in Qatar, and obviously last year, it's not the kind of start you're looking for. But this will give me a lot of confidence that I've found a lot of old routines that maybe got a little stale last year and now they are fresh again and I'm feeling good.
I actually didn't play well this week, either. I drove the ball well and my short game was fantastic. So I've really been focussing on my short game recently and it was nice to see it pay off. A lot of scrappy iron shots still and a lot to improve on. That's the good news, really. So just tighten a few things up, keep the short game hot, and just proves I can be up there.

Q. Your programme now?
JUSTIN ROSE: Have a baby. (Laughter) it's due in four weeks time, so I have two weeks off and I'm scheduled to play L.A. and the match play, but I have to talk to the doctors and see what's happening and all of these sorts of things.

End of FastScripts

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