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March 10, 2012

Justin Rose


PAUL SYMES:  Thanks for coming in Justin, I know you're disappointed with the bogey on the last but overall another very pleasing day at the office?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, certainly, obviously I kept pace for the most part with the leader, with Bubba.  He got off to a great start today.  I just kept patient.  I think through seven holes, I was 1‑under and he was 4‑ or 5‑under.  And then I had a great run, I had four birdies in a row.  Unfortunately from that point on, obviously I went backwards with my two bogeys.  Just missed a couple putts to the right.  So going to go iron that out on the putting green.  But for the most part, in a good position for tomorrow.  Obviously three back, it's a lot to Bubba on this golf course, he seems to make birdies pretty easily out here.  But at least there's not a lot of guys ahead of you.  There's only one guy at 17‑under and the rest of the pack is right there, so it doesn't take much; if he has an average day, it's there for the taking.
PAUL SYMES:  Final day at a WGC event, those are the sort of days you play golf for I guess.
JUSTIN ROSE:  For sure.  This is a huge stage to play golf on, and it's fun out there today, good crowds.  People are excited, and, yeah, you know, World Golf Championships are right there with the best tournaments in the world.

Q.  What do you feel you had working best during that four‑birdie stretch?
JUSTIN ROSE:  You know, I just capitalized on par 5s.  I pitched it‑‑ I hit it close, really, on those four holes.  I think I was four feet, five feet, tap‑in, eight feet.  So I managed to get the ball in pretty tight and capitalize with the putter.
I think the key was, when I was on the 7th hole, I told myself to be patient, and I got the reward straightaway with four birdies on 8, 9, 10 and 11, because obviously Bubba was playing great.  But at the same time, you can't get too wrapped up in being three ahead or four behind out there.  You just have to keep playing, keep your head down.  It's going to be the same for me tomorrow.  I am three behind, but I think it's important to not go out and force the issue and not take on shots that don't make sense.  You just have to go out and play, play the shot at hand and wait for that putter to heat up. 

Q.  You've played with Bubba now three straight days, he says he doesn't really like this golf course very much, but he seems to be getting around it pretty well.  What are you seeing as far as how he's handling it?  What's he doing particularly well?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, he's pitching it well.  When he's driving it way down there, he's pitching it typically inside six feet.  That's where his advantage it right now.  His wedge game is great and he's getting the ball in the fairway for the most part, too, where he has control over the ball.  There are some tight flags out there and I guess with the Sunday, especially, if you start missing in the bermudarough to the tight flags, it's not so easy to get the ball close to those wedges and pitches.  That's going to be the key for him tomorrow but that's what he's been doing really, really well.

Q.  You say it's all right there for the taking, if Bubba has an average day, the way the course has been playing the last couple days, what's an average day and what do you need to go after to get past it?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I would say average day is like 69,70, if there's not too much wind out there, but that gives you the opportunity to go shoot 65, which there has been plenty of those.
Yeah, that's the way it could play out, you never know.  Like I say, it's not easy playing with a three‑shot lead.  He's won enough golf tournaments out on this TOUR that he'll know what tomorrow, but still never easy.  For me, I just have to go out tomorrow and focus on my own game.  I don't think I'm too far back to be trying to do anything out of normal tomorrow.

Q.  Just curious if you caught any of Rory's round, the early stages, or at least certainly the score, and what sort of impact that may or may not have had.  And secondly, Sean said something to you earlier in the week about how you really sort of striping and really in good form, and wonder how much confidence you've taken away from that.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I mean, Rory‑‑ I said to my caddie, I said, it's amazing how the creme always rise to the top.  I think Westwood and Rory got off to bad starts this week but by the time the third round comes back, they have worked their way back to somewhat of contention or definitely respect built.
So it's impressive how the top players, one, never give up; but two, they are patient enough and know that they are going to get their run.  So that's what I noticed about Rory's round today.  I don't know what he did particularly, I wasn't really too focused on that but I did see he got to 10‑under at one point.

Q.  He went out in 30.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Went out in 30.  And with Sean and me, I've been feeling good about my game for a while now.  That wasn't news to me when he's telling me I'm playing well.  I feel like I am hitting the ball well.  Every part of my game is good right now to be honest with you, so that does give me confidence.

Q.  Rory was also saying about the course that he felt it wasn't a challenging enough course for a tournament of this level.  He said it was like a resort course and so on.  Just wondered your thoughts about that.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, you know, I think in its day it was long, but long isn't really a test for us anymore.  The greens have been soft this week, and if I time you put a quality field on soft greens, you are going to get close to the hole and make putts and make birdies.  Obviously the greens are somewhat flat.  I think that's why there's a lot of putts made on this golf course.  I think someone told me a stat today that‑‑ I don't know how they measure the stat but it's the easiest putting course that we play.  So that's why the scores are low.  It's not necessarily that easy tee‑to‑green but guys seem to make putts around here.  I don't know if that's because the greens are fairly flat.

Q.  They are going to do some work on it; would you like to see it being more challenging?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Is it Gil Hanse?  Obviously love some of the work that he's done.  I think it's important to get the re‑design right on a course like this that has staged so many fantastic tournaments.  But I think it would probably benefit from a bit of a tune up.
PAUL SYMES:  Best of luck tomorrow.

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