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May 22, 2013

Justin Rose


STEVE TODD:  How about we talk about golf, Justin.  Welcome to the BMW PGA Championship.  Tied second last year, it's obviously a place that's treated you well in the past, so guessing you're looking forward to this week.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, or treated me badly, because in some ways ‑‑ this is a tournament that I dearly want to win, and having lost in a playoff and come close last year, it definitely lights the fires even more.
This event really is on a short list of tournaments that I would love to win.  Just outside of the majors, there's very few tournaments ahead of this one; the nostalgia of being here as a kid, watching all the great players play, and obviously it's always a nice, hometown feel for me coming back here with friends and family.
STEVE TODD:  You obviously came here last year after a good start to the year, and you've had another strong start to this year; so more good vibes coming in.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I hope so.  Obviously I was coming in herea off the back of Doral, I suppose, winning that tournament, the biggest win of my career and feeling good about things.  I come in here probably playing as well but maybe without the big week.  Provided I stay patient and keep doing all the good things I have been doing, that week will be just around the corner and obviously there's a lot of good golf to play coming up leading into the major season.
STEVE TODD:  Quite a nice vibe with all The Ryder Cup players back together this week.  We had the dinner last night and it's been a good occasion so far.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  I find that night quite inspiring in a lot of ways, when you see all the silverware lined up and you see what really is up for grabs every single year; when you make your schedule and you do dream of winning those tournaments.
But to actually see the fruits of those wins all in one room at one time, it really sort of does‑‑ it gets me very motivated.  You sort of look forward to next year and hopefully having one of those big Majors, Player of the Year honours, all that type of stuff, it's a nice occasion, and obviously to have The Ryder Cup Team together as well, it's rare to have all 12 in the same field.

Q.  Two things, Justin.  Where was the difference, two second places, and a tied 10th, and then in between them you threw in two missed cuts.  Could you pinpoint why that vast difference?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Obviously that's my record here, is it?

Q.  For the last five years.
JUSTIN ROSE:  It's actually quite similar to the Memorial next week.  So I don't know if it's this time of year or specific to this tournament, but Memorial I either seem to win or miss the cut, or go close and miss the cut.  It's actually a better way to play golf than to finish 30th all the time.
I don't really know why that is.  I think‑‑ well, I probably do know why that is.  Here, specifically, there's a lot of demands on my time this week and just being the fact that it's the first time I come home all year.  Some years, maybe I manage that better than other years, so that could be one reason.
Well, it's the only reason I can think of, actually.  The rest is just golf.

Q.  It's not weather‑related or the dryness of the course?
JUSTIN ROSE:  No, I don't think it's necessarily anything to do with the conditions.  I feel my game should be able to adapt to all sorts of conditions.  But the only other thing I can think of is that some years you put too much pressure on yourself and other years you come in just right, with the right motivation or the right intensity.

Q.  And just to go back to one thing you said there, you said it's the first time that I've been back, and Lee earlier this morning said, it the first time I've been back; and you've also got Luke out there, Rory playing.  Do you worry a bit about The European Tour and the tug between the honesty of the Tour, your relationship with the tour, where you've built up your game, and then all of the allure of playing in the big events in America?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, it the first time I've been back to England.  I worry about the weather; it's been a pretty bad winter.  Really from a golf standpoint, there's no point in being back here until now.  You take a look around and you don't see very good playing surfaces and what have you.
So this week, they have done a fantastic job in getting this course ready through a pretty deep, dark winter.  I think they have doe a really nice‑‑ the course is actually looking fantastic.  There's some good definition out there.  The greens are rolling somewhat slow but rolling well, and I think that's a testament to the hard work that's been done here.
But when I say it's the first time back, I certainly mean England.  I've definitely been to the Middle East which I consider a very strong part of The European Tour.  I enjoyed Abu Dhabi.  That was a new trip for me, and went to Qatar.  I think Luke's been to Malaysia or somewhere like that already.
So the guys are supporting The European Tour because that is the nature of The European Tour these days.  It has to follow the sun.  Obviously Europe in a lot of times of the year, we cannot play.  But I think the guys do follow and try to support The European Tour as best we can, but this is pretty much the first available week that I think golf is really doable and you can put on a great tournament here in the U.K.

Q.  Just coming back after Medinah, it's your first event, being back in the U.K. generally, have you had anything to particularly tell us about, reaction, people coming up to you since The Ryder Cup?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I signed probably 300, 400 Ryder Cup photographs today, but it's really‑‑ it's actually quite interesting being in America, I know exactly when SKY Sports replay The Ryder Cup, because my phone sort of really, there's a big influx of Tweets and people say, "still can't believe you holed that putt on 17, watching your match against Phil."  Hundreds of Tweets come in, or tens or twenties of Tweets; as time passes, there's less and less but I know exactly when it's been replayed, The Ryder Cup. 
So people are still dreaming about it and engaged about it.  We saw it last night and there's obviously been some great achievements on The European Tour, but almost the final piece of the evening was The Ryder Cup and it is very special to The European Tour and it is very special to the golfing public here who are very passionate about it.

Q.  Rory says that on the golf course, The Ryder Cup is his greatest experience; is that the same for you against the tournaments that you've already won?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  The highs and lows of it; losing matches hurt more and winning them mean more, feel better.  I've won one and lost one; lost at Valhalla obviously.  You come away, you think from a person point of view, an individual standpoint, it's a great experience.
But I've never really‑‑ I lost the Walker Cup when I played on that team.  That was the first time I really felt I was on a winning team.  It's the first time I had ever sort of experienced the elation of celebrating together and collectively feeling the accomplishment of the whole team.  And I think that's really what bonds teams together, those are the moments where you really sort of confide in one another or conversations you've had during the week really become meaningful when you sort of get the result and the victory.
The thing I most enjoyed signing today was one of the champagne bottles that we were spraying off the bridge at Medinah when one of the lucky sort of fans got it and travelled home with it and got all the guys to sign it.
But that moment out there of pure elation and sharing with your teammates, that's the first time I'd ever had that opportunity and it was amazing.

Q.  But you're now based in America and you have lots of friends on the Tour as you have here; how difficult is it going to be increasingly to get that kind of intensity for the victory, because it used to be them and us, and now it's more all of us together just playing for this Ryder Cup thing.  Do you get a sense of that changing?
JUSTIN ROSE:  The crowd make the intensity.  The fans and the fact that it's very much a red versus blue and there are two sets of fans out there, a home team and an away team; it does become less about the individuals on the golf course and more about who you're representing.
I think personal friendships are put aside for the week, and I say that in a way that it's‑‑ I think the players have done a great job in The Ryder Cup in recent years of keeping sportsmanship first and foremost, because the lines outside the ropes do get a bit blurry at times.
I think The Ryder Cup transcends golf in that sense.  It attracts sports fans rather than golf fans and there are different types of behaviour out there.  But the players, like you said, we have to go and play against each other the following week, so there's always that respect inside the ropes.  But, the emotions run way higher; your celebrations and your show of emotions, it's because the crowd charge the atmosphere so much.

Q.  So your reaction to beating Phil, you didn't go full‑pelt, you sort of held back, that came as an instinctive reaction?
JUSTIN ROSE:  That was instinctive.  I really respect him as a player and respect his sportsmanship, and you can't make that decision in a split second.  I just sort of turned around and there he was, essentially in my face and it would have been inappropriate to run around and jump, sort of jump all over the lads.
That's what I wanted to do because I knew where they were and I was heading to celebrate with them, and obviously it would have been the wrong time to do; as he showed great sportsmanship obviously to me when I made a putt or two down the stretch there.

Q.  I'm fascinated of the idea of you being based in America with your family, because that just makes sense, but this is where you grew up and where your formative years of golf; and back to this tournament, it's like a novelty.  What feelings does that trigger to see the trees, the grey sky, the whole thing; do you feel like as a kid and what memories come back?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I have very strong memories, even though I come back very seldomly‑‑ it feels very much right, as well.  It feels when I drive around, I know my way around.  Most places on Tour, you're dealing with sat‑nav and stuff like that, but I know how to get around and it's a cool feeling to get around.
It's nice to always make‑‑ I haven't had this chance yet, but I'd like to do it before I leave.  Just to go down to my local club in North Hampton and have a pint in the bar and see some of the old faces and people that have been really, really good to me through the years.  It's been a really good sort of grounding week for me, as well, from that perspective.

Q.  When you go into the bar, do they just say "Hi, Justin" like you were in there last week?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, they treat me really well down there.  The secretary always used to give me a rollicking, I should say, I won't but the 'b' in there, for having my hat on in the clubhouse and stuff like that.  So I can't get away with anything that's not acceptable just because I'm known off the golf course.  Yeah, they are a good bunch. 

Q.  You were on stage last night when Sergio made what he admits was an inappropriate remark.  I just wonder what your immediate reaction was, and you said that everybody needs to move on; how quickly do you think that is possible for this to just blow over?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, obviously as soon as he said it, there was some sort of nervous giggles really, it was that kind of moment.  Yeah, it was a sort of Stevie Williams‑type moment.  It's going to be up to Tiger and Sergio how quickly it goes away and how they deal with it personally.
I'm sure, obviously not a good comment and not condoning the comment in any way, but it was a comment also made in a situation where we were all being asked Ryder Cup questions and he's thrown an interesting question out of the blue, but it was also a very current question based on THE PLAYERS Championship.  Yeah, I'm sure he regrets it.
Sergio does have a big heart, and if for the most part‑‑ as we've seen over the years, he's excitable, as well.  So you know, you love him and sometimes it can also get in his way, unfortunately.
STEVE TODD:  Thanks, Justin, good luck this week.

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