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July 3, 2010

Justin Rose


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Justin Rose, 3-under 67 today -- you're becoming quite the fixture in the media center rooms -- after the third round of the AT&T National. Obviously you're rolling. Just some comments on the round today and how you're feeling as we head into the final round tomorrow.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure. I thought today was a really good round of golf in a lot of ways but more so how I felt out there. I really enjoyed the round. And yeah, I guess I obviously played solid for the most part. When I was in trouble, my short game really pulled me through. There were a couple times on the back nine I kept the momentum going.
I thought the key moment of the day actually was a bogey I made on 14. I probably hit the wrong club there and I was in a wicked lie, long left. I tried to actually play safe to get it on the green, couldn't even hit the green and then got even a worse lie. Managed to chop it to four feet and made the putt. That was probably the only little bit of emotion I showed all day with a fist pump, but it was for bogey.
It was a good day. Really enjoyed the golf course again, and I think that's going to be my mindset for tomorrow, just to keep enjoying this place.

Q. You mentioned your short game. There were times when you saved par when you had to. Talk about that consistency to have par when you needed it.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, like I said, when you do manage to get it up-and-down you just keep your momentum. That's key out there. I think it's also those are the challenges you are going to face around this golf course, too. I don't think there's going to be too many perfect rounds out there. It is tough. It is difficult. So you've got to accept sometimes that you are going to have to grind.
I did that well today. When I did miss a shot, didn't worry too much about it, just sort of went up and sort of did my best with it, with the approach with the short game shot. But I putted nicely today from six, eight feet. That's really what keeps rounds going.

Q. What kind of confidence do you have in the putter right now? It seems like you just mentioned you're making all the putts that you need to make.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, obviously a lot of confidence. I like these greens. These greens remind me of The Memorial greens. I like the greens where they're a little bit quicker; you can stroke the ball. I'm seeing my lines nicely. But I feel like I'm in a really good process with my putting. I'm not too much into the result. I feel quite free over it. I'm letting the putter release. Not too worried about the outcome of the putts, you know.

Q. Can you talk about last week going into the final round, what your mindset was? Second part, you seem to be very relaxed, put it all behind you.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, I felt like I was a better player Monday after Hartford than going into Sunday because I felt like I learned a couple things.
It's funny, having just won a golf tournament, I hadn't actually been in contention -- it felt like I hadn't been in contention that much, even though I just won. I had the confidence of winning and that made the pill easier to swallow. But the more times you are in contention, the easier it does become.
I think Hartford, playing with a lead, it's the first time I've done that for a long, long time, so I faced some different emotions. The back nine at the Memorial I knew I had the lead, and I closed it out really nicely, and I was committed to my shots, continued to stay really free, so I know I can do it.
But just Hartford felt like a long, long week, just starting the way I did, getting out of the blocks quickly, and you know what, my game actually wasn't that good at Hartford, believe it or not. I feel like I'm a lot more comfortable with a lot more aspects of my game this week.
But then obviously mentally, I felt like I was mentally pretty good on Sunday, just sort of physically I felt a little bit tight. I was doing all the right things; my body just wasn't with me, as well.
So going into tomorrow, yeah, I guess just the challenge is to continue to be as loose as possible and free, you know what I mean?

Q. I think you were probably four back at Memorial, too, weren't you, going into the last day?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I was four back.

Q. Trying to hold off instead of airing it out, if you will?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, although I think my mindset going into the last day of Memorial wasn't to press, it was to go out really patient, let the course open up when I had chances, take them. And that has to be my mindset tomorrow. Even playing with a lead and playing from four back at the Memorial, I really don't think my strategy is going to change whatsoever in reality. You know, that's certainly the plan.
My point is going into Memorial I didn't chase it. I knew a solid round of golf would get me in with a chance. Again, tomorrow a solid round of golf is what we're after.

Q. I guess it would seem like the difference at Memorial and Hartford, at one you had nothing to lose?
JUSTIN ROSE: At the Memorial?

Q. Yeah.
JUSTIN ROSE: Sure. There is that element. If you're sitting at the top of the leaderboard it seems like it's yours to lose for sure. You know what, that's why a golf tournament is 72 holes. The lead really doesn't mean much until you close it out. I just know that tomorrow I have a great opportunity once again, but I'm more excited about the opportunity of putting into play the lessons I've learned in Hartford than actually going out and winning the golf tournament, trying to put into play what I've been talking about, and that'll make me a better player once again.
I think the attitude at the moment is not how many golf tournaments can I win but how good can I get, and whether that means winning once this year only or whether that means winning five times this year, I don't know. I don't know the answer to that question. Really in that way I'm not putting a lot of pressure on myself tomorrow, it's just about getting better once again.

Q. Is the size of the lead, four shots, different with the nature of this golf course than others, the way it's been playing?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think so. I think it's tougher to go low around here. But at the same essence it's probably easier to shoot higher. So it's an interesting test. But I think it suits good golf. So if you can go out there and execute, you know, it's tough to make up a lot of shots out here. Or it's tough to find the birdies, a lot of them anyway. Best score of the day is 4-, 5-under par; a 3-, 4-under par is a really good round of golf. From that perspective I've got to just keep playing as solid as I can.

Q. Kind of continuing on what Doug was talking about, as I listen to what you're saying, it sounds to me like even though you're in a good run where you're in contention, sometimes winning or sometimes not, every week seems to be a little different. Can you talk about how that affects a player like you and the differences between week to week when you're in contention?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think every week you're facing new challenges, new golf courses. That's kind of what I'm enjoying at the moment. And I think what I'm doing well, which is what's putting me in this position, is I'm not carrying any baggage over from one week to the next. I felt like at the Memorial I didn't go into Hartford thinking, you just won, keep it going. And I didn't come into this week thinking, you've just blown a win. I'm just coming into each week seeing it as a new challenge and starting from hole one of the tournament. Do you know what I mean by that? I'm not really carrying anything over. Although I'm on a great run, I'm not carrying that run with me mentally week to week. I'm quite into the challenge of each individual week at the moment, which is a nice mindset.

Q. Some players we've had in here wouldn't talk about what happened last week or might be short with their answers. What makes it okay for you to talk about it? It obviously doesn't seem to worry you at all.
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I think because I don't regret it, because I feel like I'm better for it. That's probably why, I think. You know, it happened. I can't deny it. I've kind of learned from it. You've got to ask yourself the right questions after a thing like that and get on with it.

Q. Would you expect to see the greens a little bit faster tomorrow than they were today?
JUSTIN ROSE: I mean, I thought they've been quite consistent throughout the first three days. The way the course is playing, I mean, okay, I'm 10-under par, but the majority of the field is having a fair time with this golf course. I don't think they need to do too much different.
I mean, obviously it's a Sunday and they might bake it out just a touch more, sort of classic, open style -- they've got this opportunity this week to make it as hard as they want to. But I think the course is playing really well right now.
If they get these greens too fast, then they can't use certain pin placements, too. Today there were some really tricky flags, but if the greens were a foot quicker then those flags would be a little bit on the unplayable side.

Q. Going back to the back nine on Sunday at Memorial and Sunday last week, were your nerves any different? I'm assuming you always have nerves in a situation like that. But did you feel differently in that situation?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, at the Memorial I felt probably more nervous than I did at Hartford, but at Hartford I just didn't feel like I was playing good. I just didn't feel like I had it. It just felt like one of those days. I was a little bit lethargic, just a little bit not quite there. So I'm not really worried about the emotions of it. I feel like I've been in the heat in a lot of different ways in my career, and you learn to battle that.
But I think what I liked at the Memorial was I was really nervous in between shots but then when I got to my ball I clicked into a really focused state. Like hitting the golf shot was kind of the -- I don't want to say the easy part, but it was the relief. I suppose that's the confidence in your game.

Q. Can you elaborate a little bit on how you've gotten to the point where you can putt freely without worrying about the outcome when you're leading a PGA TOUR event?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean, I would say I'm doing it to about 80, 90 percent. I still want to get better at it. It's what I'm trying to do. But yeah, being free is being fearless, not worrying about the consequences. And I guess -- yeah, it's taken a little hard work to get to that point. It's funny, that's how you play as a kid, and then the more and more you play PGA TOUR golf or professional golf, the more kind of clutter sticks to you, and it's a matter of trying to shake it all off.
At the end of the day, it's a game, it's a golf course, and that's what you go out there to -- if you can break it down to that simple level, it makes the game easier; do you know what I mean? It's not about -- obviously we play to win, but that's the challenge of winning is keeping it down to only the things you can control and doing it better than everybody else.

Q. You had chances in, I think, Disney one year and Palm Springs for sure one year. Were you asking yourself the wrong questions after those events?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't think I was learning quick enough after it, so yeah, I probably wasn't asking the questions. I felt a couple times I've been unlucky, that I felt like I've gone out and done a good job, and it just hasn't happened. But again, a couple times I haven't been ready if I'm honest. I think that's true, too.

Q. The crowds out there today, it was kind of a running joke when Tiger finished everybody would go home and have lunch. Were you surprised by the size of the enthusiasm and energy out there?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, really cool crowds out there, really enjoying it. Obviously the people of Philly look like they've really embraced this tournament for the coming year. I'm enjoying playing in front of them. Really respectful golf crowd actually, which has been fun to play in front of. Really good, high energy crowd. But to be honest, really, really fun to play in front of. I noticed me and Jason were getting a lot of support out there today, and that was good to see.

Q. Could you be a little more specific about what questions you did ask yourself after last Sunday? Can you just be a little more specific about what kind of stuff?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think it's just about not brushing stuff under the carpet, facing up to it, what did I do well, what did I do badly, how can I do something better going forward. You know what, it's not even really asking yourself the right questions, it's just taking the time to do it, to get over the disappointment and thinking, okay, how can I learn. It's not rocket science. I'm not like asking myself Einstein-type questions, it's just maybe putting aside ten minutes to go through it and think, okay, what can I learn, how can I do better and how can I play it. That to me is the exciting thing about tomorrow is can I play what I've learned.
It's a great opportunity -- as I said the other day, it's difficult when you're not in contention very much to play the lessons you've learned, and by the time you get into contention, sometimes you've forgotten what you learned. It's nice to be able to try and put that into play immediately.
DOUG MILNE: If you wouldn't mind running us through your birdies, just give us your clubs and yardages.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, driver, sand wedge from about 110 to about eight feet on the 1st; hit 7-iron into about 15 feet on the 5th; 3-iron, 9-iron to four feet at the 13th; and a 6-iron to about 15 feet at 17.
DOUG MILNE: Best of luck tomorrow.

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