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June 23, 2010

Justin Rose


DOUG MILNE: I'd like to welcome Justin Rose to the interview room. Justin, you've had two weeks off since your win at the Memorial. Maybe start off talking a little bit about what you've been doing over the last two weeks and your expectations coming into this week.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure. I mean the first week I had to qualify for the U.S. Open on a Monday and then got back to Orlando, we had a charity event to do on Tuesday. And at that time I sort of got a little bit backlogged on a couple of interviews or what have you. I got time to relax from about Thursday onwards and caught up with some neighbors and friends and few beers and few barbecues, just got to enjoy it. I think that was important. It's certainly been a long time coming, so I certainly wanted to make sure I enjoyed the feeling, savored the feeling.
And it got to about Monday or Tuesday of the second week, which was U.S. Open week, and I felt like I wanted to start practicing again, I wanted to start getting out there on the range, which I think is also a good feeling.
The seasons are long, play a lot of golf, and I think the key is to keep wanting to be out there playing golf, and I got that feeling back Tuesday or Wednesday and started practicing the remainder of the week, and here we are.
Watched the U.S. Open Sunday afternoon. Looked like an amazing tournament, classic even par winning total there. Surprising how that ended up being the number, so many different story lines going on, but my good friend Graeme McDowell, fantastic to see him pick up that trophy on Father's Day at U.S. Open at Pebble. I mean I couldn't think of a better golf tournament to win at a better time really.
DOUG MILNE: Well, you must have done something right because you came back yesterday in your practice round and got closest to the pin on the contest that Travelers was running where they would donate $10,000 to a charity of your choice. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. Excuse the pun using the Travelers logo, but when it rains, it pours. Right?
Yeah, I guess. I mean I hit the ball. I knew it was close. The guy wasn't sure. He said he thought there was one up there a few inches away and that one looks like it's got a chance. So I mean what do you do? You just carry on, and got the phone call yesterday evening saying that and did I know of a charity I wanted to donate it to.
And my wife and I -- I don't know if you've seen the quote I gave last night, but my wife and I have a close relationship with a little children's home in Orlando where I think the sum of $10,000 will make a big difference. And I think fund raising for them could come harder and harder with these times recently. So I know they'll be thrilled with that.

Q. What's the name of that?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's the Central Children Florida Children's Home. It's about one mile or two miles down the road from Lake Nona where we live, so it's kind of nice to do something in the local community there. A lot of the kids work in the local supermarket there. We have a little interaction with them. They're great kids. They've certainly been given a -- well, I don't want to say a second chance, but they've been given great stability by the children's home and they're all great kids.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Thank you. Questions?

Q. Did you ever imagine it would take 12 years to win your first PGA TOUR event, and that's got to add a greater appreciation.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I think 12 years doesn't feel like the realistic number for me. I was very much a European Tour player for about the first five, six years of my career. So certainly since '04 or '05 I've been very focused and committed to playing this TOUR.
So yeah, still, it's taken a while, no doubt. I mean 160 odd events. I think certainly that was longer than I expected, for sure. Had my chances throughout that period of time. Clocked up a decent amount of Top 10s, certainly three or four seconds.
Some seconds I felt like I gave it away. Some seconds you play well for second, so it wasn't a case of always -- you know, this tournament, for example, I finished third here, but I finished one back. And I started with a lead, shot 69 in the final round, beat Ben Curtis, who I was playing with, who was the nearest guy to me, and yet I think Faxon came through with a 61 to get me by a shot. So sometimes you can only do what you can do. You know what I mean?
And fortunately for me on Sunday Rickie Fowler was on the opposite end. He went out and played a steady round on a tough day and someone else did to him what's happened to me a couple times. So finally it was my turn and it felt good.

Q. You're one of ten players in their 20s who have won on TOUR this year. Can you talk about that, the explosion of these Young Guns even though you're at the far end of 20.
JUSTIN ROSE: I am glad, in hindsight I'm glad I managed to nip in there before I turned 30, because I've always for 12 years now I've been regarded as a Young Gun, but I guess the reality is now that I'm not.
True Young Guns are McIlroy and Rickie Fowler and these guys. But to do it in my 20s I would have always assumed or expected that that would happen. So I'm glad I did it right at the end.
I think, yeah, golf's in great hands right now. I think more so than their golf games, I think their attitudes are fantastic. The way Rickie Fowler handles himself, Rory McIlroy. They play very free, and I think that'll stand in good stead for the future.

Q. You being 29 I would think the experience of playing on TOUR probably helped you down the stretch, but when you see like Rory is 21, are you surprised that they have that kind of poise down the stretch on Sunday to win?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really. I think Roy was a different type of win. It was just a majestic round of golf where he was just in his flow, just doing what he does best, using his talent and not get in his own way.
I feel my win was more of a -- I played a great round on Sunday, but it was a lot more calculated. It was a lot more using my experience, using my knowledge, using the skills I've acquired over time to get the job done, whereas those guys are just free-flowing and playing with all the talent in the world. So I see a little difference really.
I think sometimes knowledge can get in your way, though. You gotta learn to really separate things, things that can help you and things that are going to bog you down. So I think that's a real art going forward, and guys like Tiger, they change, they evolve. His golf game and golf swing now is so different to how it was when he first came out, but some people say better, some people say worse, but he got better as a competitor and that's because he knows what works and what doesn't work. And I think you can't be young and free your whole career. You gotta learn to adapt.

Q. What's the hardest part of winning on this TOUR, and having done it now, what has that done for your confidence?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I think the hardest part winning on this TOUR is that steady round on Sunday doesn't get it done anymore, no matter starting with a one-shot lead or two-shot lead, whatever it might be. You gotta go out and you gotta be aggressive, you gotta be positive, you gotta be care free, and that's a hard mindset to get when you play with a lead. And I think the guys who manage to do it are the guys who obviously go out and win.
But yeah, you can't rely on just playing steady really on a Sunday. I mean steady gets it done, but you still gotta go out and make birdies; you still gotta go out and play good golf.
And I think I would say maybe golf 10 years ago the depth wasn't there for guys to come out of the pack with 61, 62s on a Sunday. You're looking at guys in and around the lead who were the real contenders, but now anybody four, five, six back going into Sunday has a chance.

Q. Having won now, does that change anything do you think?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, it takes a little bit of pressure off. I mean I don't think it -- you know, I've been saying recently I'm not trying to build a week. I'm trying to build a career. So yeah, it's nice to have it done, but it's not the end game for me. I think I'm still very focused on just getting better as a player, and that's what drives me day in and day out rather than a capital win now and there. It's playing for the rest of the year. It's actually how can I get better today, how can I get better tomorrow and I think that's the way I'm trying to view the game.

Q. Do you think in the last three weeks with you and Westwood and Graeme winning, what are the implications of that?
JUSTIN ROSE: The team is shaping up certainly, but I think to be honest with you, I haven't followed the Ryder Cup really closely because I've been so far out of it for a good number of weeks that since the qualification process started it hasn't really involved me until recently I suppose.
But the team is running into form. I think there are still some key players Monty would like to see on the team, Sergio. I think even Harrington might not be on the team right yet. So he's got some key players that I think he would like to have in there and not use up a pick on. But it all goes well for the team. There's no doubt about it.
You look at the world rankings right now, Europeans are very, very strong, but it's quite self-perpetuating because the more Europeans that get up there in the world rankings, they take their status back to Europe and therefore bring back to European Tour a lot more world ranking points that everybody plays for. So it's kind of a little bit self-perpetuating, the more Europeans are up there, the easier it becomes for other Europeans to also get up the world rankings.

Q. (No microphone).
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I mean that's rare. Obviously the big deal for a major champion, too, coming from the UK. That's been a long time, especially over here, since Jacklin. But it doesn't surprise -- it surprises me more how long it's taken to have a run like this rather than, wow, this run's finally come. I think the quality's been there for quite some time.
I think, for whatever reason, as a nation we do put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We have -- we'll bring football/soccer into this equation and same happens with the football team. There's a lot of talent and I think there's a lot of expectation, and just being able to put that aside and let it happen.

Q. Speaking of pressure, have you ever had any second thoughts about turning pro when you did after finishing the British? Did you put much pressure on yourself at that point?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. It was a tough time. You know, it's easy for me to say now, although I didn't ever doubt myself. But I try to take it back to basics.
I remember thinking at the time, all right, let's take the Open championship completely out of the picture, how would I view the game, who would I be? I said, okay, I've done a lot of great things, I have a lot of amateur records. I've won a lot of tournaments by a certain age that other people haven't done, youngest ever Walker Cup player. So I say, okay, take away statistics, that makes me a pretty good player. I haven't lost my talent overnight. So now if I couple that with hard work, surely it has to pay off. And that's just kind of a very young mindset; hard work plus talent equals success.
So I really tried for a period of time to take the Open -- the Open certainly skewing things expectation wise, always trying to live up to it, and trying to live up to everybody else's expectations. And that's probably happened to me a couple of times in my career, and sometimes after this win, I'm hopefully not going to get ahead of myself. Like I said, I'm trying to get better as a player each day and not get too wrapped up in what it might mean, who I might impress, who I might not impress, that type of stuff.
I've gone off on a little tangent there, but basically, talent, hard work going to pay off and that's what I really relied on. I took small victories going forward. If I missed the cut by 5 one week and I missed it by 3 the next week, I would really work hard on viewing it as a positive, rather than, oh, there's another one. I'd say, okay, you did this a little bit better this week, let's take that and move forward.

Q. With that finish -- (no microphone).
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for sure. The next couple weeks there's that mini Money List that runs, and I believe I'm the No. 1 guy on that who's not exempt. It's looking good. It would take a pretty unlucky sequence of events to knock me out, but certainly not taking my eye off the ball.
But again, those are the kind of pressures you can put on yourself. You go out there thinking about that. But my goal really is just to go out there and play the golf course, play my game. All that takes care of itself with good players, we know. So that's the mindset.
But yeah, missing the U.S. Open was very disappointing. It would be made up for me quite a lot if I play the Open championship at St. Andrews, which is one I missed in 2000, missed in 2005. So it's kind of always been my bogey open, one I really want to play. So I'm here this week and playing next week to secure that spot, and yeah, go to St. Andrews and enjoy the experience.
DOUG MILNE: Let's take one more. Justin has a tee time coming up here.

Q. (No microphone)... past here and I imagine you're pretty confident hoping to get two in a row.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. I enjoy the golf course here. This is a tournament I love having on my schedule. I think it's gotten better and better over the years. Travelers has done a great job elevating the tournament and doing everything they can for the players, new facility and all that type of stuff. But it's a really fun course to play, and I've always felt after the U.S. Open, it's like Hilton Head after the Masters. It's a nice week to come and play and get back to normal, get back to a golf course that you can go out and feel like your game can produce some birdies.
I think it's a fun golf course, quite a good risk-reward course, great finish around the lake there, 15, 16, 17, 18 always creates a little bit of drama.
DOUG MILNE: Thanks a lot, Justin. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

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