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MASTERS TOURNAMENT


April 9, 2013


Justin Rose


AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

THE MODERATOR:¬† Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.¬† It's my pleasure to welcome to our interview room Justin Rose.¬† This is Justin's eighth appearance in the Masters, finishing in a tie for 8th last year.¬† Justin is off to a great start in 2013 with two Top‑10 finishes including last week, a second place tie, a few strokes behind Tiger Woods at Arnold Palmer's tournament.
How are you feeling about entering into the Masters this year and perhaps you'd like to tell us about some of the preparation you've had.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, sure.¬† I'm obviously feeling in good shape with my game.¬† I feel obviously results‑wise, it's one thing, running into form from that perspective.¬† I feel like all year it's been a continuation of where I left off last year which is nice.¬† Preparation‑wise, all year I've really been conscience about not playing too much golf going into the Masters.¬† I had a busy end of 2012 and I think I paced myself quite nicely coming into this tournament.

Q.  I believe you have led at some point on every day at this tournament in the past at some point.  Do you feel like this is a golf course that you should be able to win a major on, and just how comfortable are you here?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I'm not sure I've led on Saturday and Sunday on my own at any point, but certainly had some great rounds of golf here, led the couple of days before and had a chance in 2007.  I think I was one back with two to play from Zach, that's how I remember it anyway.
I feel it's a golf course ‑‑ like I say, I've played some good rounds of golf, and when you've done that you have some confidence that you can do it again.¬† It's all about putting it together and I think a lot of that does come with experience here.¬† You've got to learn how to manage your emotions and the golf course, and then do them all at the same time.
So I feel like it is a course that I can win on.  I think it suits a lot of players though.  I think it suits Bubba obviously, Tiger, Rory, Keegan, Phil.  It suits a lot of guys, Dustin Johnson, guys who hit it well and far.  So I don't feel like I have any particular advantage over those guys.  But yes, I do feel like it's a course that I can do well on.

Q.¬† If I can follow‑up on that, when you were‑‑ that year where you were one back, and I believe you had a mishap on 17, how disappointing was that experience, and did you walk away feel like you really let a chance go?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Not really.¬† If I was one ahead, I would have had a chance go, I had a chance, an outside chance.¬† I was enjoying the moment.¬† I remember standing on the 17th tee just birdieing 16 and Tiger hit a shot in on 16 close; just being involved in that tournament and just having a chance, it was really like‑‑ I really felt like I was living my boyhood dreams.¬† I felt very calm, very comfortable actually, in that situation, and I just remember really, really enjoying it.
Didn't hit a particularly bad tee shot on 17, as I remember it.  It was up the right side of the fairway, and it hit one of those trees, and I don't know how it finished where it did, it sort of ricocheted 70 yards back down 15.  It wasn't like in the middle of the trees either.  It was in the right.  It was the first tree off the fairway.  I don't know how it finished where it did.  I managed to sort of mess it up from there.  But for the most part, I remember that being a very positive experience.

Q.  You talk about handling your emotions.  Is this one place where the emotions really do take over and you have to try to get yourself into a different zone?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, they can do for sure.  I think there's so much that can happen at this golf course, there's no point getting ahead of yourself.  Until you've gone through Amen Corner, any round of golf, any given day, no scorecard is safe.  And that obviously leads you into Sunday knowing that you're five behind, you still have a chance.  There's eagles, birdies, all sorts of great things can happen here at Augusta.
So I think more than any other tournament really, some big swings can happen score‑wise; therefore, you can't get too far of yourself and you can never give up, either.¬† Anything can happen here which I think makes it such a special tournament.

Q.¬† This might be completely irrelevant, but apparently the ultimum age to win this tournament happens to be 32, I don't know if you're aware of that.¬† To just move beyond that little detail, tremendous expectations on you from a very young age.¬† At what point do you feel like you've emerged from such pressures that you're expected to do this or that?¬† Do you feel ‑‑ I'm asking about your composure now coming to a scene like this.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Expectations are very hard to deal with when you don't have the necessary skills to back it up.  I think now that I have a lot of trust in my game and I feel like if I put myself in a situation with a chance to win, it's never easy but I feel like I have the tools at my disposal now to enjoy the occasion, and for it not to be overwhelming at least.  I don't think that that necessarily makes it any easier, but I know I can do it.
I would say that's come about really in the last three years.¬† I would say 2010 to this point, I feel like I've emerged from what I would say was a rocky kind of professional career, up‑and‑downs.¬† I always had good years, bad years, but I feel like recently I've sort of got into a nice run of form.¬† So I feel like it's a lot more sustainable.¬† I have a good team of people around me to help.
But yeah, going back to your 32 being a good age, obviously I hope that's a good omen.¬† I've always felt that heading into my 30s‑‑ since I turned 30, I always sort of scripted it that between 30 and 40 was going to be my prime.¬† It was time to put into practice all of the things that I learned and often I've had to learn the hard way.¬† So I felt between 30 and 40, if I could put into place all those years of experience, if you like, hopefully it will end up being a great career.

Q.  So 32 could be the magic number then?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I hope so.  There's a few of us, there's Adam Scott, there's a couple great players at 32, but I'm glad to be one of them.

Q.  What are the challenges for your putting this week here at Augusta?  How does it differ from other courses?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, I would say speed, speed control, is probably the most important thing this week.¬† Meaning that, you can have a 6‑footer and then you can have four or five different lines, four or five different ways to hole the putt.¬† But you have to match the speed with the line that you pick.¬† That means the rhythm of your stroke needs to really be on.
And that's something I've been working on the last couple of days, and something that's feeling pretty good right now.¬† But imagination on the greens, it's also sort of knowing your stroke a little bit.¬† You can choose, like I said, four or five different lines, but it's understanding which is giving you the best chance to make a putt.¬† For example, left‑to‑right putts that you are just touching, I feel like to pick the high line is the way to make most of them around here.¬† But that might be different for other players who have different types of strokes.
Definitely different set of challenges on these greens, but it comes down to speed control.

Q.  There's obviously so much attention on Tiger and Rory's 1 and 2 in the world; do you ever feel a little cheated in the coverings that they don't go a little further down the World Rankings and talk about you as much?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† You know, obviously I think‑‑ where are they?¬† They're at 10 point something on the World Rankings and I think there's a sizable gap.¬† If I was 10 point something, as well, and not getting anysort of vying for the No. 1 spot, yeah, of course.¬† But I have a lot of work ahead of me to get to No. 1.

Q.  How important a goal is being No. 1 in the world for you?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Obviously the notion of being the best player in the world is exciting, and when you get as far as No. 3 in the world you want to entertain that.  I'm under no illusions that's going to be difficult, but I have eight years of great golf ahead of me.  It's a possibility in my career and something I'll be striving to achieve.

Q.  Where would you put this on the ranking of most likely majors for you to win?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I would say I've got a good a chance here as any.  Obviously the other tournaments rotate, so you're going to have courses in the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the U.S. PGA that may suit you, may not suit you.  At least the one that we play every year I feel does suit me.  That gives me an advantage over some other players possibly who have to try and make the most of the other three majors.
So in a way all of them this year, I like the way‑‑ I tend to play well on tougher courses is the way I think about the game.¬† Muirfield is going to be a great challenge this year.¬† And obviously Merion, I don't know much about, actually.¬† I'm going to try to get a little sort of sneak preview of that one, and OakHill, as well, another good, tough golf course.¬† I like the lineup this year.
So to answer your question, I'm not sure, but I would say year on year, this is as good a chance as I get.

Q.  For your game and where it's at right now, what do you think is the biggest challenge this course poses?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I think my game sort of‑‑ there's nothing I feel like I can't do out there.¬† It's just a matter of doing it.¬† That's the hard part is just showing up and bringing all aspects and hoping that all aspects of your game fall into place on that one week.¬† But I would say for me, probably still just the putting is the one area that I'm right there with, and I think it's the one area of my game that's going to turn into a strength of mine.¬† Seeing so much evidence on the putting green and during tournament play now, but that would be the one area of my game, if I could choose, to show up for me this week; if I choose my putting to show up, then I know I'll give myself a good chance.

Q.  In the early rounds, first two rounds, do you have preferences who you would like to play with or who you wouldn't want to play with?  I'm thinking really in terms of Tiger and the razzmatazz of playing with him, does that get in the way of your own playing?
JUSTIN ROSE:  It's such a great crowd around here, knowledgeable crowd, respectful crowd, Patrons, I don't think playing with him makes that much difference.  I think the crowd numbers are set no matter what.  I'll probably get a good draw no matter what, so I don't think the crowd size or the gallery or the atmosphere is going to be that different whether I play with Tiger or whether I don't play with Tiger.  I guess that's what you're alluding to with your question, so I'm not really that concerned, especially having had a great experience at Bay Hill, leading after two days, and playing with him just recently.  I'm looking forward to seeing the draw come out, I guess in a few hours.

Q.  Looking back to Faldo, '96, seems like forever ago.  Where were you watching?  And secondly, Sean Foley seems to have sprinkled some dust on you and Tiger lately; what benefits has he brought to your game?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I would have been watching the '96 Masters back home in Fleet, Hampshire in the front room with the family.  Very impressionable age, 16, I would have been a plus two handicap, so really wanting and knowing I was going to be a pro golfer I guess.  Still remember watching that; obviously Faldo and Norman and Seve were the three guys that I looked up to during my career, and that was just an amazing final day, watching it unfold, watching and trying to learn from, and just beginning to understand how important the mental side of the game was or is.  That was probably the first time I really recognized that.
And working with Sean has been great.¬† I think obviously it's four years now of hard work that's gone into it.¬† The last few years have been pretty much refining‑‑ that's the great thing, my work with Sean has really remained the same through the four‑year period.¬† We haven't been searching; I think I definitely trusted his vision for my golf swing and understand all the pieces of the pie that we had to work on.¬† It's been a process of just implementing them.¬† It hasn't been that's not working, we've got to find something else.¬† It's been gradual improvement, so that's been a lot of fun.

Q.  Could you just tell us what some of the key things that you think Sean has taught you are?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† American hip‑hop, a lot of philosophy and spirituality stuff.¬† It's very varied when you work with Sean.¬† He does go off on some fun tangents.
Golf‑swing‑wise, the whole concept of TrakMan and the de‑plane which is all new terms in golf really.¬† I always grew up thinking you drew the ball and faded the ball a certain way, staring with club face where you wanted the ball to finish, and feet alignment where you wanted the ball to start, and now understanding actually that clubface is pretty muchthe ‑‑ where the clubface is, the ball starts.
So I had to re‑learn a lot of things, a lot of feels, but that's helped give me confidence on the golf course to know that if I make a certain move, I definitely will not see that.¬† So I can take out one side of the golf course a lot easier by knowing what I need to exaggerate, so knowing that has helped.

Q.¬† The two things you said, TrakMan and de‑planing?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† There's a thing called the de‑plane, which is basically a relationship between club path and angle of attack and how they are basically related.¬† I think one of the biggest innovations in golf teaching has really been understanding how the angle of attack affects swing path, club path; the steeper you are, the more you have to swing left to create a straight golf shot.
So you can essentially have a guy, Craig Parry, Craig Stadler, for example, who looked over the stop and steep and didn't really cut the ball that much, and it's understanding why that was possible.
MODERATOR:  We wish you all the luck in the world this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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