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November 13, 2009

Justin Rose


MARK STEVENS: I'd like to welcome Justin Rose to the interview room. Justin is one shot off of Justin Leonard after the second round. If you'd talk a little bit about your round and your thoughts going into the weekend.
JUSTIN ROSE: Sure. Yeah, you know, I think obviously I knew that today was going to be a test. Just playing the Magnolia I think everyone knows it's a slightly tougher course out of the two, and I think the Magnolia is open and more exposed to the wind actually than the Palm Course.
But certainly towards the end of the round it was getting pretty blowy out there, and I was glad to have an early tee time because I think the guys this afternoon are going to have a tough time out there. The greens are certainly very, very fast on the Magnolia, so if you get above the hole or in the wrong position, it's very easy to make a bogey.
Once again, I didn't play quite how I wanted to play. Pretty happy to get out of it with a 69 and to keep moving forward and put myself in really good position for the weekend.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you. Questions?

Q. What was key for you today and how did your round today compare to yesterday's round?
JUSTIN ROSE: Fairly similar rounds really. Apart from today I didn't quite take advantage of the par-5s like I did yesterday. I birdied one out of the four par-5s today. But didn't drive the ball as well today. Yesterday drove it really nicely. Today I was kind of hitting the ball a little to the right. So I need to iron out a couple of little things, but you know, sometimes you just wake up and your body doesn't quite feel the same and your swing doesn't quite feel the same.
There's a quick turnaround really. Up at 4:30 this morning, which is bad enough if you're in a hotel, but if you're getting out of your own bed at 4:30, it's even harder when you're staying at home.
My short game's been very, very sharp. So yeah, if I can couple that with improving my ball striking on the weekend, which is the goal now, hopefully I'll give myself that chance coming Sunday afternoon.

Q. What are the conditions like out there today? How much of an adjustment was it from yesterday?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, I mean starting out it was cold. It was like 50 degrees this morning at 7:00 when we teed it up and we had fairly nice conditions for the first sort of five, six, seven holes, and the wind began to pick up.
I really noticed it on the 16th green. I three-putted 16 and I backed up -- I had about a 30-footer up the hill. Should have backed off of it because I really felt like I was beginning to get pushed around by the wind and almost felt like my ball might oscillate or even move. I don't think we're going to get in that situation out there, but that's kind of how I felt. It was certainly a factor.
I ended up three-putting that hole, which is kind of one mistake I've made all week that I should have backed off that 30-footer.

Q. Somebody was saying you were one of the last, if not the last, to commit to the tournament.

Q. I was wondering what made you decide or what took you so long to decide.
JUSTIN ROSE: My management just doing that last-minute stuff, I guess. I kind of knew 99% that I was going to play a couple of weeks ago, but for whatever reason they got around to doing it right at the last minute. So it was more kind of their not fault. We were on top of the situation, but they just left it to the last minute, I guess.
Yeah, I'm really happy I played. Yeah, I knew I was playing well, and I've always historically played quite well in my own bed. I've done well at this tournament in the past. I feel like Bay Hill has always been fairly good to me, so yeah, I enjoy being home and playing.

Q. On that note, you said you woke up at 4:30 this morning at home. What are the challenges of playing at home?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. You got a lot more people, a lot of family and friends around, a lot more people asking for tickets. You got a lot more distractions from that side of things, but I'm kind of used to that now. I enjoy having friendly faces in the crowd. For me it's not a distraction. It's encouraging. Keeps me on my toes, keeps me behaving well out there.

Q. Did you make them all wake up at 4:30, too?
JUSTIN ROSE: No. My wife turned up for the Back 9 today. We don't all have to suffer.

Q. Could you just elaborate real quick what was your routine then, I guess? You wake up at 4:30?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. Sure. On a morning when you're teeing off at 7:05, it didn't really get light until 6:45. So I really condense my warmup. Typically for an afternoon round I'll be out on the range for an hour, hour and 45 minutes before teeing off. In the morning I really need to get my body warm because when you wake up, you feel kind of stiff, and I certainly do anyway. So I spent 30 minutes in the trailer as opposed to my normal 10. So I did a lot more work inside rather than on the range just trying to loosen up.

Q. I've always wondered, and I've talked to golfers about this before. Are there some players, some people whose overall tournament is affected by their one morning round? Are there people, golfers who just aren't morning people, who traditionally score a little higher, a little worse on their 6:45 or 7:10 rounds and how are you with that?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, I've always felt like I've historically played better in the morning time. So for me, for whatever reason that is. I don't know if it's because I feel better or if I'm an early bird, but you definitely get the better of the golf course generally.
So I look forward -- but you know, I'm kind of a good sleeper. I can get to bed pretty early. I feel like I rely on my sleep quite a bit, which is dangerous having just had a little baby, but I feel like I need eight hours generally, so last night I was kind of asleep by pretty much 9:00. So it didn't faze me too much.

Q. Yeah, just so far today the Magnolia is playing a stroke and a half harder than the Palm. Yesterday it was only a half a stroke. Why under worse conditions yesterday would the courses play closer together?
JUSTIN ROSE: I guess, you know, although yesterday looked more miserable, I don't know if it was any harder. Today the wind's picked up quite a bit, and it felt like the par-5s were playing tough today on the Magnolia, and that's kind of generally where you make your score during this tournament. So because the par-5s were all playing tougher, you know, whatever wind direction we had today was making the par-5s on the Magnolia pretty strong.
So maybe that's where the guys weren't capitalizing, but maybe still under par on the par-5s, 15, 20 yards shorter than average. Even if they are into the breeze maybe there's still good birdie chances.

Q. Would you expect if weather holds that this will be a low-scoring affair over the weekend, a birdie fest more or less?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I think to be honest with you, I think we're working our way into some nice weather for the weekend. So if the wind drops a little bit and the greens stay perfect, you play good golf, I expect guys to be able to go low out there.
But saying that, there is about a 15-mile-an-hour breeze out there. You know, anything under 70 is still a pretty good score on the Magnolia.
You know, they could set this course up actually pretty tough. To be honest with you, we've played the tee up on 16, 17 and 18. If you stretch those holes out, tough finish around here. So they can choose how they want to set the course up over the weekend. If they want to see birdies, we can do that. This course has got some heat if they choose to set it up that way.

Q. Yesterday you commented about how if things are good off the course turns into good play on the course. You know, new family, that kind of settles golfers down, or a guy like Kenny Perry where the kids move out of the house seems like it triggers good golf. What do you think the key is for you next year in the majors? You've had some great Top 10 finishes in the majors. What do you think the key is to really break through and win a major next year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I think obviously I really -- to me a major tests all aspects of your game. It tests the mental side more than any other tournament.
Generally you get asked a question on all aspects of your game. You're going to face tough shots all through the bag. So you need a well-rounded game. But yeah, probably just comes down to self belief more than anything when it comes to major championships. Coming down the stretch everyone labels a major as a major and therefore even being more important and harder to win. So I understand kind of like taking those labels and throwing them away and just believing in yourself that you can go out there and be the guy that you're competing against.
I guess in the past I've had chances but maybe got a little bit ahead of myself too early in the tournament, thought about winning too early, those sorts of things, but hopefully that comes with maturity and hopefully I'll get to that stage in my career.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you, Justin. Good luck this weekend.

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