|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
June 6, 2010
MARK STEVENS: Congratulations to Justin Rose, picking up his first Tour win at the Memorial Tournament. Justin is now the second European player to win here, along with Carl Pettersson. If you start out and talk a little bit about your 66 today and what it means for to you win this tournament, and then we'll take some questions.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, my 66 was -- you know, 66 where I wasn't really focused on the number. I was just very much into my game plan.
I think I talked to you guys about this on Thursday, just really trying to play one shot at a time, stay focused, not get ahead of myself. I've obviously been in this situation with you guys a long time, in and around the league. Obviously, this is the first time, now Sunday evening.
That's probably because it's a week where I really stayed the most patient, the most within myself, and the most calm. So for me, it's a great way to win. And to win here at the Memorial, at Jack's tournament, is -- I couldn't think of a better place to win my first tournament. It's a great day. Thank you.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you. Questions?
Q. Justin, you were standing on 16 green and there's a huge roar from 15. Did you know, and did you just assume it was Rickie Fowler?
JUSTIN ROSE: I did. Because I heard, "Rickie. Hey, Rickie, Rickie." Obviously, Ricky Barnes too. I knew there was a chance, 50-50. I was going to phone a friend but --
I felt like I was two ahead at that point, and that sounded like an eagle roar to me, which I thought, okay, here we go. This is all dead even. So I knew the putt I made at 16 was key, and that was the only sort of fist pump, or that I showed all day because I just felt like it swung the momentum back my way.
I felt like Rickie made birdie on that hole too. It was an exciting pin placement that put the tee up and made it a birdie hole. I hit 8 iron in there. I felt like it was a birdie that Rickie could make.
I looked at the leaderboard after 17, and I thought I was two ahead. So I still knew I needed to play a solid 18th hole. When I got up to the green and realized I was three ahead, it was time to breathe a little easier and enjoy the two putts.
Q. Congratulations, man.
JUSTIN ROSE: Thanks.
Q. All the years of being, as you say, up and around the league, having chances, not quite getting over the line, is all of that going through your head? I know you said you stayed calm, but was all of that going through your head? Were you thinking about, you know, I finally did it? I finally got through?
JUSTIN ROSE: To be honest, not really. I really tried hard to not distinguish a huge difference between winning in Europe and wining in America. I think winning is winning, and you get a great buzz and get the same feeling. I have won tournaments.
So in my mind, at least, I was trying not to put a huge barrier in front of me to say, winning over here is so much different than winning over in Europe. Now with the monkey off my back, there is a difference, of course.
To win a PGA Tour event, I think you certainly need to have 100 percent control of your emotions. I've got to be honest, the last tournament I won was the 2007 Volvo Masters, and I didn't win it in a fashion that I was actually terribly proud of. I was four or five ahead at one point and ended up winning in a playoff.
You know, I won. It was great. But today gives me a lot more satisfaction to sort of win the way I did. I feel like I can take a lot more from this win going forward than my last one.
MARK STEVENS: We also have our host Mr. Nicklaus available. If you have questions, please direct it to one of the two, please.
Q. Justin, you talked about momentum there on 16. Also, earlier in the round, you had the save on 13 at the same time Rickie had the double bogey on 12. I saw your caddie was smiling there on 14. Did you have a little bit of -- feel a little bit of the momentum shift there going into the 14 tee, knowing that you're now ahead?
JUSTIN ROSE: I knew that the 12 tee shot -- thanks, Jack -- is the scariest. It's similar to 12 at Augusta, no doubt about it. I hit 6 iron there today. Really wanted to hit 7, but it was into enough breeze that I just couldn't guarantee the fact of keeping the ball down with a 7 iron. So I had to take a little bit off the 6.
When you're hitting a lot of club into that hole, you know that a long left is dead. So that was the shot for me that I felt, once I got through that shot, I felt pretty good. I felt comfortable on the rest of the golf course that I could get it round, get me to make some pars if that's all I needed to do.
But to get through that hole was huge for me. I did notice I saw Rickie down in the drop area when I was walking up 13. Then I birdied 14. Kind of figured that that got me a little bit of a gap, little bit of a lead.
But like you said, I heard the roars on 15, and I figured it was all tied up again because Rickie Fowler eagled.
Q. Just real quick. I wonder if you could go through 9 and 10. Rickie wasn't doing too much behind you. Birdie putt and the par saver both.
JUSTIN ROSE: I made two great putts on 9 and 10, one for a birdie. Just two left to right. For some reason today, I saw the left to right lines much better than the right to left lines, which is kind of rare. It's meant to be the other way around that's easier.
I've had a new putting routine this week where I've been coming into the putt a lot more open with my body, which I guess is allowing me to see the left to right break much easier. It was great to make two putts.
I've got to tell you, I've got to be honest, the putting is one part of my game where, you know, I've had some slight doubts. Today was fantastic because I felt like I putted my best under pressure. You know, once again, that's something that I can really take or now dispatch out of my mind and really take positives going forward.
Q. Could you talk about the anecdote that Jack told out at the ceremony after you came off the course, and he told you, you're going to win here someday. Did that give you a boost? Did you buy into that? Or did you think he was just being nice? How did that affect you?
JUSTIN ROSE: I mean, it's a compliment obviously. But it's like anything, I mean, you've got to go and get it done yourself. It's if I believe it more than anything is the key.
I have good feelings about this tournament every time I come here, second, fourth in the past. And something about the place that just -- that I feel very comfortable. There is a horses for courses mentality too.
I like the fact that you can hit driver around here. You can get the ball in play off the tee, but then the golf course challenges you from there. It's a great second shot golf course.
And I think it's fantastic the way it's set up. If you play well, you can shoot low. If you're off your game in any sense, you can really run up some numbers too. So many courses, the margin between good and bad is 75 to 67. Here it can be 65 to guys who can shoot 80. So I think there's a big difference between playing poor and well around here.
Q. Justin, you talked about having the slight doubts about your putting. Could you talk about why you decided to change your routine a little bit this week and do something different?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's funny. I've been doing a lot of different things recently. I think I call it my 2007 stroke. I went back to that. I've got a 2002 one. I've got a 2004.
Q. I think we all do.
JUSTIN ROSE: But the routine has made it much less technical. Not even having a practice swing right now. I'm seeing my line, stepping into it, and just reacting to it really. I must admit, it's been a lot easier to do that, being it's freed me up a little bit.
Q. I know you talked about 9 and 10, but the putt at 10 seemed like just really almost the putt of the day for you. The true key, about 22 feet for par.
JUSTIN ROSE: Certainly fantastic momentum keep. I'd just gone birdie, birdie, birdie. Had something going there. Tough hole today. Driver, 3 iron, missed it right. Had a 50-50 chance of getting it up and down, but I did play the safe option.
I mean, there was a lie I couldn't predict whether I was going to catch ball or grass, so I tried to hit a high flop, and I certainly played it with enough swing speed to make sure, even if it came out a little slow, I was going to hit the green.
But I accepted -- that was the thing. I accepted 20-foot pars. Mentally, I wasn't thinking oh. Like bogey, I accepted it and just went up to the putt, read it like I did with the others, and it went in.
Again, that's the sort of mental difference for me this week. Other weeks, you know, you may be a little -- if you're more result-orientated, you get a little frustrated at that point.
Q. You were talking about your mental toughness. When did you start making this transition? Is it, say, recent thing, or something you've been working on for a while?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's been coming for a while. I feel like I've always had some sort of mental resilience and toughness. I've been through ups and downs. Sometimes you learn more from the bad stuff than you do from the victories.
I think it's just been as simple as trusting that my game's good. Actually, beginning of this week, people were saying to me, "So, how are you playing? What's going on with your game?"
I'm like, "Really nothing. I'm very happy. I'm not trying to change anything. I'm not coming into this week feeling like I have to hit a lot of balls."
It was just a matter of beginning to get out of my own way, suppose. I'm sure you hear that all the time from guys coming in with wins. That's really what happens, I suppose.
Q. Justin, you've done some good things, gotten as high as sixth in the world. And we've had quite a fight for survival in the last six months with Lee and Paul and Ian. Did you worry about getting a little forgotten?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think I'm very much a forgotten man right now in English golf. Another reason why I'm here today is I haven't let it bother me either. I've played for myself.
I think I've begun to not play -- not worry about what other people think, not worry about what other people's opinions are of me and just really focus on the game and love the game. I think, when you get into that mindset, everything else does tends to disappear.
Yeah, I think there's four guys in the top 10 in the world. So it really is strong right now. Certainly, I feel today I'm a better golfer than I was at No. 6 in the world. So I think sometimes standings can be misleading to a certain extent.
Q. Justin, in the 40-odd minutes since you've won, has the Ryder Cup standings entered your head?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, it hasn't. I mean, I think I said beginning of the week, I felt like I needed to win twice. If I won twice over here, and I still didn't make enough points, you know, dare I say, you know, he's a hard man to not put on the team.
You've got to put your form players on the team. There's still a long way to go. I think my best way of getting into the Ryder Cup is not worry about the Ryder Cup. I've been saying that for quite some time.
I haven't really assessed how many world ranking points, et cetera, it gives me or how close I get. I did say, if I do get close to getting into the team, I'd adjust my schedule to make the team, because it is something that's important to me.
Before this week, I was so far out of it, that it wasn't really worth focusing on. It was only going to put more pressure on me.
Q. And now you got to six in the world points list. So you're really in the mix?
JUSTIN ROSE: Is that right?
Q. That's what Doug says.
JUSTIN ROSE: So top four? So, yeah, I guess I'm right in the hunt there now, which is great. But key is to just keep plugging away, you know. Don't sort of get now too involved in all these things that, I guess, started the -- you know, started me slipping down in the world rankings is you start to worry about the world rankings. So continue to play free.
Q. You referenced earlier the ups and downs in your career, and, of course, one of the downs was at the beginning, right at the beginning when you turned pro. I'm just curious if, during that tough stretch, you ever doubted yourself, if you wondered if you had made the right decision. Now, if you ever look back, do you ever look back on that as it could never -- any time I'm down, it could never be as bad as that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I think, quite honestly, I think certainly the Open championship, finishing fourth there skewed things for me in terms of my expectations. And certainly everybody else's expectations.
But what I tried to do at the time is say, okay, Justin, forget the Open ever happened. Where do you stand? You had a great Hamilton career. You can obviously play the game. Now if you couple that with hard work, surely things have to pay off.
I think for whatever reason I was, dare I say, intelligent enough to realize -- or to take the small victories I was having. If I missed the cut by four one week or missed by two the next week, I would try to see it as a sign of improvement or a positive and just really take the small moral victories going forward. I think that's important when you're not playing well is to take whatever positive you can and run with it.
Q. Jack, if I could ask you, what did you see in Justin besides a couple of high finishes here? What did you see in Justin that made you tell him that he was going to win here one day?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I don't know whether I phrased it exactly that way that he was going to win. I don't remember. When I saw him over at -- where were we? Birkdale, was it? Where did you play the British Open last year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Last year was Turnberry.
JACK NICKLAUS: It was the year before that then.
JUSTIN ROSE: It was the year before. I had just finished second here and bumped into you. That's what it was.
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, that's right. No, it was before the tournament.
JUSTIN ROSE: Oh, okay. Yeah, I was.
JACK NICKLAUS: Anyway, Justin said to me that, you know, he said, "I love your golf course. I love your tournament. I play well there."
I may have said, "You'll win one day" or "you'll win it." Keep them coming back. That's right.
I've always thought Justin to be a really good player. Today -- and I saw it all week. It really showed very, very well. You go back and look at some of the films and watch what Kostis' description of your golf swing was I thought was really quite good. He nailed it. Your posture is fantastic. The rotation on the ball, your head position through the ball is fantastic. You don't move at any place.
And your golf swing right now is just -- I mean, just -- you can't get it better. So I mean, I thought that was -- and I kept looking at it. I kept looking for -- you watch it fast, and you see Justin comes up a little bit at the end of the swing, but he comes back way after the ball is gone and the club is up in the air.
His swing this week, I just thought was fantastic. And he putted well, too. I know you felt like you probably didn't make every putt you could make, but you made a lot of putts.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I made enough to keep my momentum.
JACK NICKLAUS: You made a lot of putts. And he never made any mistakes. He just played good solid golf, and the tough holes that are on this golf course, he didn't make any mistakes on the tough holes.
You know, when you don't make mistakes on the tough holes -- you had one in the second round. You hit the water at 9.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, third round.
JACK NICKLAUS: And you still made bogey, didn't you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah.
JACK NICKLAUS: That's big momentum.
JUSTIN ROSE: Holed with bogey and little things like that.
JACK NICKLAUS: That one you keep out of it, which I didn't see anymore. I just always liked his golf game is what I'm saying.
Q. Justin, you are scheduled to qualify tomorrow, is that right? I'm just wondering -- I'm assuming this is the biggest thing that's happened to you in your professional career. Is this just part of being a professional is trying to enjoy this knowing you have to get up in the morning and go 36?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I mean, I do like a good time. But, you know, I've got to truly believe that the U.S. Open is -- obviously, it's such an important tournament that tomorrow is an extension of the U.S. Open. I think it deserves, obviously, the full respect that I'm going to give it.
You know, I might have one set of drinks tonight, but I'll be waking up tomorrow clear headed, ready to go, and should I get through, I'll go into the U.S. Open, obviously, with a lot of confidence and just try to keep my momentum rolling.
Q. And the hangover?
JUSTIN ROSE: Enjoy it.
Q. Justin, for a lot of people, it's hard to believe you're actually not 30 yet. You've been around for so long. Do you feel still that you're, you know, one of the younger generation? Dare I use that term.
JUSTIN ROSE: No. I mean, I think I hear a lot of times, one of the 20-somethings to win on the PGA Tour. I'm really glad that I made that category just in time.
I have always been described as young and a young gun and this and that, but I'm now getting to the point where I'm certainly not. Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, these guys are the true young guns out here. I think golf's in great hands with those -- with more than those two, but those two especially.
I played with Rory recently. Just I love their attitudes really more than anything. Their golf games are fantastic, but I mean, I'm sure Rickie conducted himself fantastic today. His time will come. Those are the young guns.
But my feeling, I turned pro from 17 to 29. That's 12 years. I figure, okay, that's the real learning phase. I hope to be moving into my prime for the next ten years. I don't know what happens after that. We'll see. I'm very excited about 29 to 39.
Q. You struck the ball really well today in the wind. You had a great closing round in Florida in the wind. Are you a good wind player? And how much difference did it make?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, that's a really good point. I think the changes that I've made with Sean Foley have enabled me to be a much better wind player. I now feel like I can hit down on the ball without it going left. In the past, I'd always missed it left. I can now hit the ball low and not have my miss go to the left.
So that's been a much easier place to play golf from. Yes, certainly, that is honestly one of the biggest things this year is I feel like I've been able to control my ball flight much more in the wind.
Q. Jack, I was interested, when you saw the wind this morning, did you think that maybe 12 would be a swing hole, maybe more than it usually is?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I knew there was going to be some problems out there. You know, I thought the wind would be greatly actually to Rickie Fowler's advantage.
When you've got a young guy who is leading by three shots who has played golf at Oklahoma State, which is wind all the time, and on this golf course, it's very difficult to shoot a low round. I didn't know anybody was going to be able to shoot a low round today.
Justin shot a low round. If you look at what Rickie did, that was a great round of golf. Justin just played that much better. He played a lower round of golf, which I thought was superb. I think it was a great round of golf.
I don't think Fowler has anything to be ashamed of. I think he played very well today.
JUSTIN ROSE: That's why it's hard to win out here. I've been on Rickey's end a couple times out here. You tee up with a three-shot lead, it's not over. And you can do a decent day's work, like Rickie did today. Guys always come out of nowhere on Sunday, and that's why you've just got to keep your head down and play hard as much as possible.
Yeah, obviously, like I said, that's happened to me a couple of times out here, and you think, man, what do you got to do to win? Sometimes it's when you don't quite expect it.
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know whether I really answered your question, I'm sorry. You asked me if I expected some tough holes like 12.
Q. I can't remember where 12 -- it's kind of too early to be a swing hole, but today it seemed like everything.
JACK NICKLAUS: In the wind, 12 will always be a swing hole. It's very difficult. That can be a birdie or double bogey real quick. Justin got through all those holes.
JUSTIN ROSE: I knew, when I got through 12 today -- when I had my putter on the 12th tee, I said to my caddie, I'm glad that shot's over with.
JACK NICKLAUS: I can believe it.
JUSTIN ROSE: There's no point denying it. You know walking on that tee, you're in for a tough couple minutes.
Q. Just real quickly, Justin, when did you first start working with Sean Foley? And what sort of is, I guess, the key fundamental that's helped you make shots?
JUSTIN ROSE: July last year we started working, and obviously made gradual progress. But this off-season we started delving a little bit deeper into some changes. I guess the whole -- the main thing is for me to feel like I don't have to get the club in front of me, you know, like the whole determined to get the club in front of you.
I never really understood what it actually meant. But now I feel like I can hit more from the inside with a little bit of angle, little bit of lag, but as long as I use my body to stroke correctly, I'm not going to hit the ball left, which has been the mystery of my career. It also helps me trap the ball more when I need to.
Basically, I feel like I'm using my body better, in essence.
Q. Justin, you brought it up a couple of times where you've been on the other side of a win. Can you talk about where you might have -- where there might have been a couple of places where you've taken from certain situations that you maybe used today or this week that kind of got you over the hump?
JUSTIN ROSE: I just think really realizing that 18-hole leads, 36-hole leads, 54-hole leads mean zero. This week, I wasn't -- I knew that I was in the hunt all week, but I wasn't playing golf like I was in the hunt all week. I was just in the moment.
And I thought that paid off for me today. In the past, I've certainly gotten ahead of myself. I've played Augusta a couple times, Thursdays, Fridays, and it's a long week if you get ahead of yourself. How do you play mentally with a lead for 36 holes if you're worrying about every shot?
It's taken me a little while, but I think today I felt more comfortable in that situation because I was more in the moment. That's, I guess, it.
JACK NICKLAUS: You've been close at Augusta a couple times, haven't you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I finished two back one year. I was on the 17th tee --
JACK NICKLAUS: You've led a couple, haven't you?
JUSTIN ROSE: I lead every year after the first round.
JACK NICKLAUS: Maybe I only watch the first round. Maybe that's why I like your game.
Q. I'm just curious. At age 29 and you've already won on five of the six main Tours in the world. Do you take any pride in that? You're missing Asia.
JUSTIN ROSE: Okay. Well, the way golf's going, I mean, hopefully, there will be more opportunities to play down there, that's for sure. So hopefully, we can knock that one off. I hadn't thought about that.
I mean, it does give me some pride. I mean, I think it's nice to be tagged or feel like you're a world player. I think golf is so big now around the world. I mean, this is certainly -- I think, until you win over here, you don't feel like you've really achieved all that you want to in the game, but it is about winning worldwide, too.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you very much, Justin. Good luck in your 36 tomorrow.
JACK NICKLAUS: Guys, let me say one thing. Thanks for your support this week. Thanks for your patience with the weather. Thanks for being here.
End of FastScripts