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July 6, 2010

Justin Rose


STEVE TODD: Justin, thanks for joining us and start off by congratulating you again for the two victories. Nice to come here in a rich vein of form.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's lovely to come back under the circumstances and it's nice to come back knowing that I'm obviously in The Open Championship next week. A month or two ago, that wasn't looking likely, or certainly wasn't the case. That's one of the big bonuses of this run of form is now I get to play St. Andrews; I've never played The Open Championship there before.
So exciting times, and to go into that tournament in a rich vein of form will be great.
STEVE TODD: That's a bonus of an added product of what you've done, I'm sure that wasn't on your mind; can you just reflect on your two performances and how you've been playing at the moment.
JUSTIN ROSE: It's been three weeks in a row, really. I won the Memorial and it was fantastic to get the monkey off my back there, winning in the States. Obviously I had won seven times around the world, but, still, winning in America, the Americans, for them, it feels like my first win.
But in some ways, it felt like my first win again, too. Winning over there, you face different challenges and stuff like that, so it was fantastic to get that job done.
At Memorial played really, really well all week. To come through with 66 on Sunday, best round of the day by two shots. It was a great way to win. I gave myself the opportunity the very next week; I came back to Hartford, not really knowing the state of my game at all, not knowing how I was going to fair. I had not done a lot of practise those two weeks off and came out of the blocks really quickly with 64, 62 and put myself in contention and had a bad Sunday there. Didn't really feel 100 per cent and just didn't click into a good groove on that Sunday, and that one slipped away from me.
But I felt like I learned a lot. That's the important thing is I learned a lot from losing that tournament there, but that benefitted me the following week. As soon as I got back into contention the next week, I felt very comfortable and confident that I could put that one away and ended up winning by one at the AT&T.
But on Sunday, played a pretty good round. To shoot level par around that golf course on a breezy day with a four-shot lead, you were never going to lose. Ryan Moore put up a good number, he challenged me but I felt comfortable if I could keep it around par, that would do the job, and here we are.
So obviously it's been a whirlwind to be here. I haven't had a lot of rest but certainly looking forward to this next week and then turning my attention to St. Andrews.
STEVE TODD: How nice is it to come to an event like this after what you've done? It's almost the feel of a celebration this week anyway, isn't it.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, the crowd out there yesterday especially was amazing. The reception I was getting on every hole, people were saying they were watching, and blaming me for keeping them up to late. Really getting fantastic reception out there so it was nice to come back to that for sure.

Q. At Hartford, would it have impacted you as much, had you not already got the monkey off your back?
JUSTIN ROSE: It was much easier letting water of a duck's back having won the previous time out. I was still searching for my first win over there. Yeah, you lose a lead like that, you're probably going to ask yourself different questions, rather than the ones I did ask myself.
So, you know, I know I can win. It was just a fact of why didn't I win that day, rather than, why can't I win probably; why not today and why two weeks ago, what was the difference, how can I iron it out and make sure it doesn't happen again.
Obviously sometimes you learn these lessons in contention. That's why guys like Tiger I think are so good as closing out tournaments because they are there so often, they learn and they have the opportunity to put into practise what they have learned fairly soon after. If you are not in contention that much, you learn something, but it can be six months for a lot of guys before you're in with that same chance again, and by the time you get a chance to apply it, it's kind of not fresh in your memory anymore. So to have the opportunity the very next week was fantastic.

Q. Given the type of form that you're in, how tough was it to sit at home and watch Pebble Beach, knowing, that really, you deserved to be in the middle of all of the action?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, well, obviously at the time, you win a tournament, you never know the next week you're going to come out and win again. You don't know that.
But obviously I came out of Travelers, should have won, came out the very next week after that, won. So that leads me to believe that Pebble, if I kept the same mind-set, I would have had a good chance, very good chance. So disappointing from that perspective.
Obviously G-Mac did the same thing. He won in Wales. Kept that mind-set going, won the U.S. Open. So certainly felt like it was possible that had I been there, I would have had a chance to win. But I did have my chance to be there. Didn't qualify.
After winning the Memorial, okay, it's hard to pick yourself up and head to a 36-hole qualifier, but I did have my chance, you know what I mean. So it's hard for me to regret it too much. I had my chance to play.
I know what you're saying, being 33 in the world, just won the Memorial, to be sitting at the home and not playing inn majors, it's a strange situation to be in. I don't really understand why they have to cut The Open Championship and the U.S. Open Championship, the top 50 category anyway, in the world, why they do it so early. But I guess, you know, they are trying to be true Open Championships and I suppose for it to be an Open, you give the man on the street the dream of qualifying. And therefore, they have got to have spots available for that, I understand.

Q. It's been a great month for you, apart from Pebble Beach it looks like the Justin Rose Tour watching on television the last month. Everybody would have understood if you didn't come here Monday, flying through the night and you could have had lots of excuses why you might not want to have come here. What is it about an event like this that makes you want to come after you've just had a great victory and you probably wanted to celebrate and what is it that JP McManus does to bring you here in the first place?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think it's obviously the bigger picture and greater cause. A lot of money is raised up for charity on the PGA Tour and in Europe, it's drummed into us as golfers, there's so much playing for charity and it's a way of us giving back. We are so lucky to be playing a game that you guys do it for fun, we do it for a living and that's a very fortunate position to be in. Playing these things is a little bit of giving back, giving back of time as a sign of realising how lucky and privileged we are to do what we do for a living.
JP, he's been in and around the golf circle for a long time and he's helped out a lot of guys along the way. You know, just a wonderful person, and he's just a guy you genuinely want to help out. But I think you're helping JP out because it enables him to help out so many. He can extend so much further than we can. By helping JP out in the JP McManus Invitational and what he can then generate with it is fantastic.

Q. Have you noticed any sudden change in the way that you're perceived over in America? Americans love a sporting streak; the significance of what you've been doing can't have been lost. Have the offers started to flood in, chat show invitations and things like that?
JUSTIN ROSE: After the Memorial, I was surprised at how much people watched golf and realised, the very next week saying: Great win, great win at Memorial, great shot, great putt there, people actually watch and realise what's going on, or the true diehard fan, I suppose.
Fourth of July I won in America, which is obviously their big holiday, but by being a British guy on the Fourth of July, I was really sensing that they were still pulling for me and I think that came from the previous two weeks, being up there in contention and having the crowd on my side, I felt, too, that was a great feeling playing over there.

Q. Is that quite disorientating, Bay Hill back in March, you cut quite a frustrated figure because you could not quite get everything together; have you surprised yourself even by the speed by which everything has changed?
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really. Bay Hill is an interesting example, one of the few cuts I've missed all year. I guess with the Tavistock Cup going on Monday, Tuesday, etc., etc., so Bay Hill was kind of a funny week, but generally I've known I've been playing very well for a long time. My range sessions have been amazing. I've been hitting the ball better than I ever have in practise, and if you haven't got it in practise, you're never going to have it in a tournament.
So I knew the game was there and I just needed to find a way to translate it on to the bigger stage of tournament golf. That's only going to come with patience. You can't force that, and the harder you try sometimes, the more elusive it can become.
So really, right before, even at the Memorial, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I remember answering some questions and saying, what do you have to do to break through, what do you have to do to change and what you have to do to get in contention, and I said nothing; I genuinely meant it, nothing. I'm not on the range changing my swing or on the greens changing my putting streak. Mentally, has been the shift, just getting rid of all the baggage and going on to the golf course and let my game come out.

Q. Just to follow on on that point you were making there, in playing competitions like this where it's a little bit more relaxed, does that just give you a little sense of grounding, of how lucky you are to play golf and does it help you when you go onto it a bigger stage to give you more confidence and you can be more relaxed?
JUSTIN ROSE: Today, this is a very relaxed environment and it is a very fine line because obviously these last couple of days, for me, it's a big sort of -- you allow yourself just to relax and not focus that hard. I'm out there, I'm trying for my team, I'm trying to play well, I'm trying to do my best for the people that are out there watching because they want to see good golf but it's not happening, either. So it's such a fine line between trying and being focussed and also trying too hard.
You know, it's just -- and sometimes, you know, I felt it -- it's sometimes easier on the bigger stage to keep yourself calmer because you know you have to. There's no other alternative. If you let yourself -- if you let your emotions get the better of you under real pressure, you just know that anything can happen, so you fight that little bit harder to get things really focussed and really calm.
Today out there, there are a lot of distractions. You're dipping in and out, you're signing autographs for ten minutes and then you're battling your umbrella and you have to hit your shot. That's all part of this tournament and we do it because it's great. But to do it and to expect to play well are two different things. I mean, you may play well. You may strike a nice, relaxed rhythm out there you about you don't expect too much of yourself in an event like this.

Q. You've had cold patches of your career well documented at the very beginning, and you've also had four wins in one year in the past and clearly you're on a hot streak at the moment; do you feel you can become close -- to the best player in the world, because you do have this ability to get on streaks?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think the difference right now is I understand why I'm on a streak. I think it's more sustainable, my game is more sustainable now through knowledge and through refinement over the years. I'm not really interested in necessarily becoming the best player in the world from your perspective.
I want just have one question in any career and that's how good can I be; if it means winning a major; if it means 20 PGA Tour wins, I don't know what the ceiling is. I have one question I want to answer and I'll only know at answer to that in 20 years' time. The point is day-to-day I feel quite driven at the moment to answer that one question.
And even if it meant not winning last week, this AT&T, if I learned one more thing that would make me better in the long one run, I would have accepted that and been happy with that. I'm not putting pressure on myself in terms of results, but every day, how good can I be and what can I do to influence that.
So I don't really know if it's answered your question, but I'm not really necessarily interested in living up to expectations.
STEVE TODD: Thanks, Justin and enjoy St. Andrews next week.

End of FastScripts

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