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June 1, 2013

Justin Rose


Q.  A little fiery on those greens out there this afternoon?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Absolutely, if you get it in the wrong spot, obviously.  The second shot, you either hit a perfect shot or you make 5.  I was going to make 5, but I got it up and down, which is probably a rarity from below that green today.  I made a great pitch shot that left me 8 feet.  I was just trying to drop it in the front edge, if I made it, I made it.  For that putt to go in was definitely a bonus.

Q.  During the course of the day did you realize, if I shoot around par today I'm going to be right in the thick of this thing?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I was really trying to hard to throw it away around the turn on 7, 8.
Hit a great drive to 11, hit it in the water there.
And I missed the green at 12.  And then I shot in the rough at 12.  My ball was embedded.  And chipped in.  That really ignited the day.  If I made three more, I would be right in this thing.  But to be at 5, it was a pretty good back nine.

Q.  No doubt.  The back nine from a scoring average looked like it played much harder than the front today.  But obviously that didn't have that affect on you?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I felt like I got a little off in my swing and game today, which is easy to do in the wind.  I hit quality iron shots on both 16, 17, and into 18, too, if I'm honest.  I felt like I got a little lazy.  It was a long day.  I had to finish off some holes this morning.

Q.  Fired up for tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Absolutely.  When I won this thing a few years ago, I was chasing Sunday three back.  It was similar conditions, and I got it done.  This course has a history of the wind swirling.  But obviously when it's blowing this hard, it plays a little more consistent.  That's the only good thing I can say about it.  The rest is very tough.  The greens are rolling perfectly, but quick, but there's no let up.  You have to hit good shot after good shot, which is how it should be.

Q.  How draining is it?  A lot of it is a guessing game?
JUSTIN ROSE:  It is.  And I think that's where the patience comes in.  I struggled a little with my patience around the turn.  I felt like I was throwing the round away, and I had to give myself a talking to to just relax, let the golf happen.  And I managed to do that, made three birdies from that point coming in.  That was a nice turning point for me.
It is draining.  I was finishing some holes this morning, too.  I felt like I got a little lazy with my swing, maybe tired or sloppy.  I talked to myself and made a few good swings coming in.  But definitely had to refocus.

Q.  How can you gain confidence in your game going go the U.S. Open playing in conditions like this and a course like this that's beating everybody up?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, I think these greens, I mean you're not going to face any tougher putts at Merion than here.  I'm sure they'll be fast and firm and slopey.  And that's pretty much what these are.  They're not firm right now, but they play fiery.  We're hitting putts from 8 foot where you're aiming a foot outside the hole.  So I think getting into that mindset and visual really seeing that can only help.  And I think this is a course, too, you pretty much use every club in the bag, especially with the wind.  You're having to be creative with the iron play, which is what you're going to have to do for Merion.

Q.  It's perfect preparation?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, with it being a bit of a grind this week, I think that mentality will serve you well.

Q.  What's your mindset going into tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I felt like if I could make four birdies in my last seven it would give me a great chance tomorrow.  If I got to six, obviously I'm at five.
I won this tournament from three back in 2010, so obviously today was a great day.  If I kept my position in the field, gave myself a chance going into Sunday, which is what it's all about.

Q.  You come into tomorrow having won here, you have those good memories to draw from.  Does that give you any sort of an edge or confidence booster or does it matter at all?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, it matters.  Anytime you've done it, you can draw strength from that.  I had a pretty specific game plan going into the final round in 2010, being three back.  And I'm sure that will play again this week.

Q.  Jack thought it was important to have strong finishing holes, 16, 17, 18.  He's tinkered with all three.  How tough are the finishing holes here?
JUSTIN ROSE:  They're very tough.  They get in your head a little bit.  16 is a tough hole now, but the wind being from the right helps the shape of the green, at least you can work it in, you're not fighting the natural contours there.  It helps a little bit.
17 is an awkward tee shot.  There's two bunkers that are placed wide, but there's one 20 yards farther that cuts in.  So like today it's been a perfect 3‑wood all week.  I felt today 3‑wood might run out.  So there's extra factors that are involved because obviously it's a pretty big bunker that you can't reach the hole from.  The pin placement typically on Sunday is back middle.  It may not be the toughest pin placement, but you can still make birdie.

Q.  Are you hoping the greens soften up with the rain overnight?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think the course from that respect is playable right now.  It's receptive on the second shot.  But let's hope it doesn't get too muddy and bulky in the fairways.  I hope there's not too much standing water in place.

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