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March 27, 2011

Justin Rose


Q. Give some kind of sense on the back nine being in the lead, what is the biggest challenge?
JUSTIN ROSE: You know, right now, the pins are really tucked tight today. The 13th hole is normally a birdie hole but the wind is swirling around and the greens are rock hard, it's a really great atmosphere out there and just coming down the stretch, there's just a lot of atmosphere out there, so, too I don't think that will make it any easier.

Q. I know you're not playing next week but you've been on a long run and playing some very good golf?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know how many days but it's about 20 days in a row really without a so-called day off from golf, and that's not the hardest thing in the world to do, and don't get me wrong, it's been a fun run and it's been playing in Florida. This week has been easier playing in my own bed. It's been really nice not to have to pack a bag. And I tend to play well at home. So I've had a good week being in my own bed.

Q. 31 on the back nine.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, nice way to sign off. A little bit of redemption from last week. I had a bit of a poor Sunday and that bothered me, annoyed me because I feel like I have a lot of good things going right now and I fought really well today. Coming down the stretch I knew there were important clubs and shots to be hit and I stayed in my process well and committed to them. It was a nice sort of reward after last Sunday.

Q. Did you have a number in mind today?
JUSTIN ROSE: 8-under I figured. My caddie texted me last night saying, don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but he felt 66, he just wanted me to be aware we were still in the golf tournament teeing it up today. He was probably right, 8-under is still in this thing.

Q. What about hanging around, 6-under?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm going to hang around for sure. I'd be crazy not to go anywhere. There's a lot of water to come into play for the guys, greens are fast, tricky. Every shot will be tough for guys coming in.

Q. What makes it so hard out there right now?
JUSTIN ROSE: The course is set up so hard today. The pins are as tight as I've seen pins for a long, long time with the wind direction that we have had blowing. It seems like you're fighting the wind to get to the flags a lot.
A hole like 13, you step up there and you think it's a birdie hole but you know, first you've got to hit the fairway. I had 90 yards in there and I hit it to 40 feet. I mean, it was just a shot that felt really difficult, and it was only 90 yards long.
You know, even the pin at 15, the wind is swirling and you've got no room for error because all of the swales and run-offs that are in play this year, you're trying to get the ball onto plateaus that are maybe only five yards wide. So pretty small targets.

Q. The two top guy the coming back, does that surprise you?
JUSTIN ROSE: Doesn't surprise me, looking at last week for me. (Laughter).

Q. The general dynamics?
JUSTIN ROSE: Last week for me, it's easy to sort of start to see 15 to 20 foot as a good shot rather than hitting great shots, and I think that is what it takes to win golf tournaments. You need to play great for 72 holes, and it's easy to get a touch defensive, especially on a day like today and last week the wind picked up on Sunday and made it a slightly different test than what it was all week.
I think if you don't keep playing aggressively it's really hard to make pars. Almost your best form of defense is playing positively out there.

Q. Butch says that you started putting with your eyes closed on the back nine.
JUSTIN ROSE: He let the cat out of the bag.

Q. He said it's a drill you guys do, and nothing was going in and it worked apparently.
JUSTIN ROSE: Inside ten foot I just freed it up. That's a drill I do a lot on the putting green and I make more than I miss, and I figured, I've been making nothing so why not give it a.
Try. Mentally, it was a challenge to do that coming down the stretch when you're trying to be that carefree, and just let it go. The more I kind of got up the leaderboard the more I was trying to use it as a real test and a drill, so you know, and it worked. And you know obviously I hit a couple long putts which I made an eagle putt on 12 and another good putt on 18, which I had my eyes open.
Yeah, it's all rhythm based really. I think when I play my best the putter swings in rhythm.

Q. When did you actually open your eyes, at what point?
JUSTIN ROSE: I guess when it's halfway, ten foot, when it's halfway and look up and the signs were good, so I thought, keep hitting it.
Hopefully I'm on a good track. I've played a lot of golf. I've played about 20 days in a row so I'm definitely just looking forward to taking some time off but I feel like there's been a nice confidence build.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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