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August 4, 2010

Justin Rose


RODDY WILLIAMS: Justin, thanks very much and welcome to the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Obviously enjoying a fine run of form over here, great success in America. How are you feeling coming into this week.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, feeling good about coming into this week. You know, sort of after the Open Championship I had a week off, went on holiday, did that kind of stuff, didn't do much practice before the Irish Open last week. So I guess I turned up there hoping to play well but didn't really know where my game was. But I think having played a week now, take stock a little bit more, know what you need to work on, I was feeling good. So hopefully I can take a little bit of momentum into this week from the things I felt like I needed to work on from last week.
RODDY WILLIAMS: What do you think has clicked for you over the last few months?
JUSTIN ROSE: I said before I started winning that my game was in great shape. I didn't need to do anything different. I didn't need to work on anything. I didn't need to change anything. So I guess it was the patience factor of just letting it happen. I think sometimes when you know you're playing well and your range sessions are fantastic, you go out and sometimes you put a little bit of pressure on yourself to take it to the golf course or your expectation levels go up and you try a little harder.
So I guess the switch for me was not -- just letting it come out on the golf course, just letting my game sort of go to the first tee, not getting in my own way, being very patient, playing one shot at a time. It is a very simple mindset to talk about, much harder to do. I guess that's what I managed to do over those few weeks, and then obviously you start winning a couple times then it's very easy for that expectation level to rise up again.
So that's really the challenge right now is just to continue to go out there each and every week, and it's a new challenge and it's a new golf course, and that ultimately is the challenge, how you navigate yourself around a new golf course, and that's the challenge of this week for me.

Q. We were talking yesterday a lot about the Ryder Cup, and I'm just wondering about yourself. What are your thoughts about the role of Europe as a favorite and how do you envision that playing out in Wales?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think we were favorite last time at Valhalla. I think probably for the first time favorites on paper. I think that's the way people were talking anyway two years ago. Being the underdogs it always helped the European team for a good number of years and obviously, potentially last year, it helped the U.S. Team. They almost had nothing to lose, went out there, played free. So I guess that's the scenario that we don't want to fall into again.
I think we've got an incredibly strong team. We are shaping up that way. There is obviously a few weeks left, a lot of things that can change. Big points to be played for these next couple weeks and the team can still change quite dramatically. I think all in all it's looking good. But playing in front of a home crowd, I think there is always -- well, I wouldn't know, I haven't played. But I had the time of my life on a losing team away.
So the prospect of playing on a home team in front -- in potentially a winning home team, that would be an amazing experience.
But there will certainly be no complacency. I think you go out there and you realize you're playing against the best players in the world. All of us on our day can beat the other guy, so really reputations, World Ranking, all that stuff goes out the window, especially in match play. Which team is going to fight the hardest I think will come out on top.

Q. It's been a good run in general just for English golfers just over the past year or so, not just yourself and Lee but guys like Simon Khan winning over in Europe and Simon Dyson works his way into the top 50 last year. Talk about that and how much that's meant to you guys?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's cool as a collective group to look up and see the potential and the talent coming through. I think obviously in English we're a golf-mad country, big participation sport, a load of people play the game. Whenever we have tournaments in England they're well attended. So to have good representation in the World Rankings is a nice feeling.
Yeah, it's something that -- I think we'd expect to have a lot of players or a good number of players in the top 50. I think to have as many as we have in the top 10 in the world is obviously amazing right now. But I think for a while our World Rankings were very strong without necessarily winning tournaments. But in the last year or so that's translated into wins, which I think is the important thing.
Obviously now major championships I guess is the next level for the English players who have been playing very well. To go ahead and knock off one of the big ones I think will move the needle for that individual. As a group, yeah, we're very strong. But it's who's going to rise up to that next challenge.

Q. Speaking of which, five of the last six majors have been won by first-time major winners. Can I get your thoughts on why you think that's happening, and does that change your mindset when you go into a major?
JUSTIN ROSE: I actually didn't realize that statistic. But yeah, it just shows strength and depth now is very, very strong. Guys like Louis Oosthuizen, I've played with him a few times and you're always staggered by how well he swings it, how well he hits the ball. I played with him at Wentworth not too long ago and he actually had a bit of an off week hitting the ball but his putting is fantastic.
Guys like that that have the all-around game, that have every aspect, but it's whether they can put it together one week, and then the challenge therefore is to put it together more consistently. But everybody out here has the ability to put it together for a week, and when that weeks comes around, they can be unbeatable.
For me going into a major championship, yeah, I realize it could be my week. I think I've got the skill set to do it. Like I said, for me the challenge is getting all aspects of the game firing because I think that's what a major championship does test, it does test every part of your game.

Q. Just wanted to talk maybe a little bit about Memorial and that victory. I'm wondering how important that was from a mental standpoint going forward, you had a chance to win again and didn't and then you bounced right back and did win again, if the Memorial success played into that at all and the confidence level that you have.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think the Memorial win was very, very important for that, just to have the job done, the monkey off my back. I think it was easier for me to accept what happened at the Travelers Championship, having had a win under my belt. If you're still chasing down the first win and you sort of -- you kind of lose a lead like I did, but the good thing was I think more so the middle week was probably the most important week out of the three, the fact that I had the bigger picture in perspective, I had the bigger picture in mind. I lost a tournament, but I'm still improving as a player.
If you choose to learn the right lessons from a week, it makes you stronger and makes you better. So I generally felt that I turned up at the AT&T Monday morning a better player because of what I had just been through. My game hadn't changed overnight, but the experience I had just been through, if I choose to learn from them correctly, I knew I was better. It was amazing, I was put in the exact same situation the following Sunday, and that's what I was most excited about. But again, I saw it as an opportunity to put into practice what I had just learned and to get better once again.
And I think that's sort of the mindset I have right now is how good can I be as a player and what can I learn every single week going forward. I don't necessarily have specific goals in mind right now, I just want to get better each week and see where that takes me. I don't want to put a ceiling on it so to speak . But getting the monkey off my back at Memorial, I think helped me achieve that mindset.
Okay, it's not a big deal, yeah, you're disappointed, but what can you learn going forward. I think had I been still trying to chase down a first win over here, it would be more disappointing.
So the Memorial was important, but how I learned the second week I think almost was the most satisfying feeling of the three weeks.

Q. Yesterday we talked a lot about the two 59s that have been shot in the last month. Can I get your comments on that, and what's your lowest round you've ever shot, and what do you think the future holds as far as are there more 59s out there, a lot more, or will it always be a magical number?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it'll always be a magical number for sure. I don't understand why recently. Last week, par-70, soft greens, any time you're in that situation it is somewhat on.
But still, you've got to get the job done. We saw D.A. Points nearly do it on the Saturday. Cameras turn up, it's a hard thing to finish off, it just is. I've been in exactly the same situation at Disney. I was 10-under through 12. I kept going actually, played nicely. I was 12-under playing the last, needed birdie for 59, hit a great 6-iron that landed six inches from the hole, rolled out about 12 feet, and the 6-iron came closer to going in than the putt did. (Laughter.)
I was in such a beautiful rhythm all day, but it was the one putt that for the first time I said to myself, make sure you get it there. I whole day I hadn't had a thought like that, I was in my rhythm, but I was like, okay, give this one a run. You don't want to leave it short for 59.
So yeah, that's why it makes it a hard number, because it starts getting a little bit in your head. Stuart looked like he was in a lovely bubble there. The putt he hit on 18 was a pure, pure, pure putt, and his reaction was quite interesting, too. He wasn't overly jubilant, either, so it just showed how much of a focused state he was in. He knew how important the putt was, the situation not just for the tournament but for the number he was about to shoot. But he didn't go crazy. It just showed that he was really in the bubble. He was just enjoying his round of golf. He probably wasn't as score orientated as other players have been.

Q. What year was that at Disney?
JUSTIN ROSE: '06 maybe.

Q. Is that the lowest you've ever shot?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that's the lowest I've ever shot, yeah.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Justin, thanks very much.

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