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October 31, 2012

Justin Rose


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Justin, many thanks for joining us, as always.  Start us off with your thoughts on the week, another big week for you and you're in a great run of form; you must not want the season to end at the moment.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, for sure.  Yeah, this is a big week to be honest with you.  It's my last event sort of going into Dubai.  Lost a little bit of ground on the guys last week.  Peter Hanson obviously got ahead of me, too, in terms of The Race to Dubai.
To give myself a chance‑‑ that's the goal this week really is to give myself a chance going into Dubai, and I guess that would mean putting myself within the difference between first and second; knowing that if I win, and Rory finishes second, I can still win The Race to Dubai.  But also I'm in Rory's hand to a certain extent and I have to win this week to give myself that chance.
So yeah, from The Race to Dubai perspective, to keep that interesting, yeah, it's a very important week this week.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Can you talk about your form, it's been exceptional since The Ryder Cup.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, like you said, I'm definitely in a good run of form.  I feel like that's what I'm proud about this year as a whole.  Obviously I won the WGC event earlier in the year, which is the biggest win of my career.
But from the back of the year to this point, it's the consistency that I've had that I've been most pleased with and every time I tee it up, I feel like my game is there or thereabouts, and that gives me confidence obviously coming into this week.  I feel like that run can continue.
I feel like my game is in good enough shape that it's not a magical run I'm on; it's becoming more of the norm.  Obviously everybody blows hot and cold and I'm in a nice warm run at the minute but I think my game is beginning to sort of turn up for me week‑in, week‑out.

Q.  In fact, you talk about this year but probably your career has turned around since the Masters last year when you‑‑ I think if I'm right in saying, putting Mark Roe on your short game and improved quite a bit; was that a turning point, or not?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I don't trace it back to that moment in time.  I mean, I've definitely enjoyed doing some of the things I've done with Mark and he's given me some simple drills that I continue to use to this point but it's not‑‑ it's what I identify as being the difference, no, to be honest.

Q.  What was the difference and what do you identify as the turning point?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Sure.  I haven't seen one particular moment as the turning point.  I've definitely seen it as I work pretty hard on my process and I work very hard with the team of people that I have in place.  That's what I feel that I have behind me now is a really good team of people that all work together.
So in a sense, I've become a better CEO of my business; I have good people around me and it's taken a long time for me to get that in place.  I think my mental side has gotten a lot better in the last year or two, begun to understand what makes me tick and how to play my best golf under pressure.  That's been a big step forward.
My work with Sean continues to get better; that's really just bedded in.  I trust my game now day‑in, day‑out.  I don't feel like when I get into pressure situations that I hope my game is going to be there; I know it's going to be there for me.
And the obvious turnaround in the recent few weeks has been the putting.  I'm making way more putts than I have done all year.  Really I've had great year based upon ball‑striking.  I relied on my ball‑striking heavily through the middle part of the year.
I would love to turn the clock back three or four months, go back to about the U.S. Open time and putt then how I'm putting now; I could well be sitting here with even bigger tournaments under my belt, and that's what excites me about next year.  I feel like even though this has been great year, there's so much more for me to improve upon.

Q.  Could you expand on what you said about not being on a magical run?  Did you used to sort of cross your fingers at the start of the week and think, I hope I play well?
JUSTIN ROSE:  This game does ebb and flow in the right times where it just seems elusive.  But I'm trying to convince myself obviously that this is not some, yeah, magical run.  This is sustainable through hard work and knowing what I'm doing, and yeah, it's come from a lot of hard work, basically, and I believe that it's not‑‑ well, basically I believe it's sustainable.  It's not a magical run.  It's hopefully the new norm from that perspective.

Q.  Can you just go back to when you did have the odd sort of magical run, how did you‑‑ just how did it work at the start of the week?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I guess even in 2010, I had that very hot spell in the summer where I won two tournaments very quickly, and you know, had the third tournament, the Travelers Championship, which slipped through my fingers a little bit.  But that was a month of golf where I could do no wrong.  But immediately after, that it was not particularly good and took a long time for me to win my next tournament.
I feel make I didn't quite understand or things just weren't quite consistent enough at that point yet.  I point to that as being more of a purple period, purple patch.

Q.  As you said, you're putting even better and better and you proved it in Ryder Cup and the Turkey tournament, so what are your expectations here?  Can you make some fantastic putting here?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I hope so.  I feel‑‑ I'm looking forward to this week.  The greens here are new greens, paspalum greens, and from what I've seen, I've not played the course yet but on the putting green I like what I see and they are very true; there's some grain to them.
But I feel like living in Florida, I'm beginning to get very used to putting on grainy surfaces.  I won for the first time this year on bermuda back in the WGC so that part of my game has got a lot better.
So I feel very confident this week on the greens, and hoping that that will translate into making some putts.  Last week I made a lot of putts from ten to 15 feet, but I missed too many putts inside five feet.  So I just want to clean that up this week, be a little bit better around the hole and that will help my scoring.

Q.  That downhill left‑to‑righter for a zillion pounds or whatever it was at THE TOUR Championship, was that a turning point that sort of clutch putt?  And obviously the ones you made at The Ryder Cup; is that where you can trace where it really clicked?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, definitely.  I knew that that putt was a big putt.  I didn't have any idea the full consequence of it and what it amounted to at the time but it was a big putt for me personally.  I didn't want to finish with a bogey.  I didn't want to sort of limp into the clubhouse at that point in the tournament.
Brandt had won at that point, but there was still a lot of pride on the line finishing second and not slipping into a tie for second; it just meant a lot to me.  It was an incredibly tough putt.  I said to my caddie:  Come on, let's make this putt.  So we set the intention; and then to pull through, was a big moment, and I think that sparked a little bit of confidence for sure and gave me good feelings about the week and made me come away from it feeling very positive and took that into The Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup as a whole, I felt like I didn't putt well until I had to.  And again, really nice feeling that when I sort of stared down a putt, I knew I had to make it, and I made them.
Again, Turkey, I can point to that, too.  Again, 17th green, my match with Lee got really, really tight.  Lee was sort of close to the hole with me on 17 and I had that to make that putt, and again, made it. 
It doesn't always happen in golf but at least I'm sort of putting good strokes on it and giving myself a great chance in the moment when it really counts.  I probably haven't had a spell in my career where I've developed that level of confidence before.

Q.  Have you ever got to the stage where you were so frustrated with your putting that you considered going to the long putter?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Oh, yeah, many times.

Q.  And have you tried it?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I used it one round this year believe it or not, little known in the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship, I was off first, and Saturday afternoon, just, all right, I'm going to go into Edwin Watts and buy a putter.  Bought a long stick.  Just put it in play just to see.
I toyed around with it, and it's always felt great from 20 feet and on putting greens and on fairly flat surfaces, amazing.  And I thought, I'm going to put it in play.  First putt of the day, I have an 80‑foot putt from the front edge of the green, lipped out.  I thought, this could be the future right here.
But to be honest with you, I think with the long putter, it certainly helps a lot of guys.  It helps under pressure, and I don't think there's as much nerves involved.  But it's still very hard to make putts.  Putting is an art form.  You have to read the green.  You have to start it.  It's not all about making a perfect stroke.  You have to match up line and speed, and that can happen many different ways.
So that's what I learned.  Even though I was maybe stroking it better, I found the 6‑footers that had a couple of break, very hard to get the right pace and start it on the right line.
So I have toyed with it but again, I felt like I had to just keep convincing myself that I am a good putter and know how to putt.  The art of putting is what I have; I just have to get a little more confidence in my stroke instead of changing things.  I was tinkering away too much, and it's hard to build any sort of momentum when you do that.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Justin, many thanks for joining us.  Good luck this week.

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