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May 23, 2012

Justin Rose


PAUL SYMES:  Welcome to the BMW PGA, Justin, you grew up not too far from here, it must be a bit of a home coming for you this week.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yes, that's exactly what it is, it's a homecoming and it's an event, I've told you guys many times, that I've been coming to since I was ten years old.  Definitely it has got a great feel about it, coming back to the Wentworth Club, and there will be a lot of friends and family out there supporting me this week.  So looking forward to it.
PAUL SYMES:  You're in great form, as well.  You must feel like you're competing every time you tee up.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, exactly, I think the game, what I'm most pleased about really is the consistency.  I feel like the game is there or thereabouts and the work I'm doing on the range, it's not really out there trying to search and find your game.  It's sort of more maintenance, and it's allowing me to focus more upon things like preparation and strategy and all of those things that make‑‑ that's when you compete well, really, when your game is focussed upon scoring, not trying to get the ball in play off the tee and all that type of stuff.
I feel very comfortable, and like you said, any time I do tee it up, no matter what the standard of tournament or the strength of field, I feel like my game is capable of winning.
PAUL SYMES:  You've just been fitted up for a Ryder Cup suit, obviously lots of points available this week, you could really sort of cement your place on that team.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, very much so.  I think that would be the icing on the cake.  This is a tournament that's on my bucket list of tournaments to win.  And should that be the case, it would be a great day but obviously at this point in the season, having done what I've done so far, again, it would probably‑‑ I imagine it would seal a Ryder Cup spot.  So there's all to play for.
When you do go and get fitted for the team, I know they do 30 guys, there's a lot of guys that won't make it, but it's definitely a moment where you know you're getting down to crunch time.  So it's exciting.

Q.  You've touched upon it, but how much would it set you up for the rest of the summer, a victory here this week and the form that you're in, to go on and achieve everything that you want to?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I think it would be a great starting point.  I said to my caddie the other day, actually, it was at Sawgrass, I said that I just had a feeling, it was halfway through the tournament, and I wasn't playing particularly well at Sawgrass.
But I just had a feeling that it was time just to put in, again, just another spell of hard work and refocus I guess for the summer.  Leading into the Masters, I played a lot of golf and it was a successful run into Augusta and then after Augusta, I've taken a little bit of time off, had a few weeks off here and there to try and set myself up for the summer.  But as of, really, THE PLAYERS Championship, I felt like there was a run of great golf ahead of me.

Q.  I think players accept that there's only a few weeks a year when they produce their very, very best.  Are you slightly worried that last week was one of them and you got knocked out?
JUSTIN ROSE:  And I got nothing for it‑‑ well, no, I don't think so.
I mean, obviously I take positives out of last week rather than anything else.  Even small consolation is a lot of to the winner.  Nicolas was great when he played against me.  I guess the compliment that he said to my caddie is that he said that he had to be his very best that day against me to sort of have a chance.  He was more than that; he was his very, very best and stuffed me.
Like I said, I think I'm coming into this week feeling great about my game.  I feel like I've re‑focussed and I feel like I'm ready for the run of tournaments coming up.

Q.  You just touched on The Ryder Cup, just looking at the World Rankings, we've got the top three and you're at No. 10 and there are six consecutive Americans.  Right now if it was played, who would you make as favorites?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I looked at that myself, and they have six out of the Top‑10.  They have found their strength, and with Rickie Fowler chasing up close behind, Dustin Johnson, it's definitely going to be keenly fought.  I would have said maybe a few months ago, we were favourites.
But I would say maybe now, it's in the balance.  I think it's good that they feel like their favourites.  It seemed like the last couple of times around, Valhalla is the only Ryder Cup I've played, but I sensed that for the first time there was talk that the Europeans were the stronger team, and obviously it proved to fire them up.
So either way, it's going to be difficult whether you're the favourite, whether you're the underdog, so I think no one is going into that sort of under‑cooked.  Everyone is going up for it.
Any time you have one, two, three in the world, that's a position that's been occupied by the Americans for a long, long time; so it's a great sign that European golf has the guys at the very, very top and those are the guys you rely on in a Ryder Cup.

Q.  If you compare this to The PLAYERS Championship, is there one thing that you would like to see done here that is done over in America?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, I think they have done a nice job this week to be honest with you with the tweaks they have made to the golf course to try to bring back the exciting finish that Wentworth was renowned for with the back‑to‑back par 5s.
I think 18 is going to be a really good hole.  You can get aggressive off the tee, probably go in with something like a 6‑iron, which will obviously lead to a lot of 3s and a lot of 4s.  But obviously you hit half of a poor shot in there, you can make 6, too.
I think it's going to have the excitement.  THE PLAYERS Championship did a lot of things really, really well.  Is that what you're trying to compare it to that?

Q.  Two flagship events.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Sure.  The crowds I think are comparable, too.  Both get very, very well supported.  So I think they both deserve their positions as the flagship events, and I think it would be unfair to really pick one against the other to be honest.

Q.  Luke was saying earlier, he was at the player awards dinner last night, and he picked up a lot of awards obviously but he was a bit jealous of the fact that the majors were sitting there and he has not got one and it was a motivating factor.  One day yourself, you're in the world's Top‑10 and you're still looking up at three players from the U.K. and I wonder, not so much jealousy, but whether that's a motivating factor for you.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, very much a motivating factor.  There's a nice little bit of banter between myself and Luke and our caddies, more so.  John McLaren, my caddie, Mark Fulcher, they have a great relationship, and they both try to out‑work each other for their player.  There's definitely a little friendly rivalry there.  We just keep reminding them to look in the rear‑view mirror once in awhile.
But it's good.  It's fun.  Golf is an individual game.  You've got to take care of your own quest to get better.  But certainly, I have one eye on what guys are doing, because especially someone like Luke, for example, he practises in a very calculated, smart way, and there's definitely things you can maybe pick up along the way and question how you do things and make adjustments.
But I think we are all out here obviously for ourselves at the end of the day.  But I think it is, it's a nice balance.  It's friendly, but again, there's an edge there where you just think, okay, what's he up to, let me make sure I'm not getting left behind here.

Q.  Huge summer coming up, football, Olympics, Ryder Cup, and wonder whether it's an extra motivation to be a part of the whole thing.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, it's going to be a great summer, there's no doubt.  The Ryder Cup, like the other events, attracts people outside of the game.  Non‑golfers that get into the Ryder Cup, I think it's just a wonderful event to be associated with, and you have to think that the Ryder Cup is up there with the top very small list of events, top events in the world across any sport.  So to have the opportunity to represent your continent, in one of the greater sporting events in the world, it doesn't get any better than that.
I think you just see the magnitude of The Ryder Cup, it changes guys schedules, it changes the way they practise, the way they think about everything, basically, for the whole year; it's that important.
Hopefully the Olympics will be a great success.  I'm keen to hopefully stay and watch a little at the end of July.  It's going to be nice just to be a sports fan, as well.

Q.  Do you have tickets?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Working on.  How do you get them?  There was a lottery today, wasn't there?  Missed it, damn.  My wife wants to go to the Olympics, obviously being a former gymnast.  I looked at the calendar‑‑ try and go there, if I can, somehow.

Q.  Was she an international gymnast?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, she was European champion and did the whole thing and represented England in the Worlds.  It was a sport, acrobatics, which was never an Olympically‑recognised discipline of gymnastics.   That always bugged her.  She always wanted to compete in the Olympics as gymnast.  So it kind of bugs her a little bit that I might compete gymnastics‑‑ in the Olympics, as a golfer.  (Laughter).
So winning the Gold Medal might be actually a bit of a bone of contention in our house.

Q.  Could you remind us of your best finish here in this event, and also does it suit your eye, this course?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think it's about 10th.  I might have had a couple 10th‑ish place finishes‑‑ no, I finished in a playoff, what am I talking about.  Obviously that was a long time ago.  Lost in a playoff to Anders Hanson in 2007.  Obviously really disappointed about that.  (Laughter).

Q.  Is it one of the courses that suits your eye?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think it's changed, obviously, a lot, over the years.  That's the great thing about heathland‑style courses, there's so many targets out there, whether you're picking the corner of a bunker or a silver birch tree in the distance, there are a lot of targets out there that make it quite comfortable.
And you have to hit draws and fades and it's a great ball‑striking test this week, especially off the tee.  A lot of strategically placed bunkers, so, yes, I would say it does suit my eye but more importantly it suits my game right now.

Q.  The hat?
JUSTIN ROSE:  This is certainly for today, but we'll see about tomorrow.  You can see I've changed out of Adidas into Ashworth.  If you pay attention to the logo, the man is wearing a flat cap so I thought it would be a punctuation point on the change today.  But, we'll see.  Something different.  Change is good.

Q.  You mentioned in your preparation, do you actively practise your mental skills specifically?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, today in the Pro‑Am, virtually on every shot that I hit, my caddie would remind me to work on my routine, and that routine obviously has elements of choosing the appropriate shot, visualising it, getting right into it and then accepting the outcome of it.

Q.  Unfortunately a lot of players never seem to work on that side. 
JUSTIN ROSE:  I've only really done it to be honest with you the last couple years, but I've learnt that if you want to rely upon something under pressure, you have to practise it, simple as that.  Even if I'm not in contention on the weekend, I try to build good habits rather than just think it doesn't mean anything.
PAUL SYMES:  Thanks a lot Justin play well this week.

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