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July 17, 2013
MIKE WOODCOCK: Good afternoon, everyone. Delighted to
welcome Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion to join us today.
Justin, congratulations. That was a fabulous win at
Merion. You must be delighted to come into The Open Championship
with the opportunity to win back-to-back Major championships, how
does it feel.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. The Open Championship as
a British player is the one event you look forward to more than
any other all year. Obviously it's the home Open. And coming in
here off the back of my first Major, and obviously the U.S. Open,
makes it even more special, I guess even more exciting than
And, yeah, I'm looking forward to getting to play again.
I've had three weeks off, and obviously the idea of the three
weeks off was just to get basically my legs back under me,
basically get back 100 percent ready to play again. And I feel
that's been the case. I've spent over the last couple of weeks
just with family and getting my hunger back for wanting to get
back out on the range and get back into practice and get back into
Q. Does it worry you that you've taken that time off now?
Do you wish you'd maybe played a little bit more in the last few
weeks or did you really need that time?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm going to need that time if I'm going to
get into contention and have a chance to win on Sunday. That's
when the freshness and the break will serve me well. Obviously
getting there is going to be the hard part. There's a lot of good
golf I need to play in order to be in contention on Sunday, but
should that be the case, then absolutely. That's when the break
is going to be necessary, I think.
Q. Your good friend Adam Scott was in this morning and
alluded to the fact that he needed to get tougher. Tom Watson had
told him he needed to toughen up in terms of closing a Major
championship. Is that something that you became aware of as well
over the years?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I mean there's times in my career
where I haven't been able to close out tournaments as well as I'd
like. And I think that it's been a learning process, and it's
been sort of self-improvement over the years that's enabled me to
get to the point where I now believe in myself 100 percent down
the stretch. And that's getting tougher. If you trust yourself
under pressure, then I don't think you can get any tougher than
that, to be honest with you.
The game is hard; you're not going to win it every time.
But if you feel like you're going to stand up to the pressure and
believe in yourself, and you feel like you have the skills to deal
with it, then I think that's all you can do. The rest of it is a
break here, a bounce here. But it's how you deal with the
pressure in the moment. And obviously for me at Merion that's
what it was all about.
Me signaling up to my dad, before I'd even won, it was
the fact that I didn't know I'd definitely won - I thought I had
won obviously - but it's about how I had competed on a Sunday.
And I felt I had done the job I needed to do. As a golfer that's
all you can do. You can control your emotions and control your
own game, and I think that's how you become a tough competitor.
Q. You waited a long time for your first Major. Since
arriving at Muirfield have you noticed people treating you a
little bit differently now, a little special privileges and things
like that, and people's attitude to you, now that you've got it
under your belt?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I guess it's twofold. Obviously I've
been a pro 15 years, so I have waited a long time to win my first
Major, but on the other hand I feel like I've won it quite
quickly, in the sense that I've only felt ready to win a Major in
the last couple of years. So I feel very grateful to have that
monkey off my back with a long time ahead of me in the game still
and hopefully at my best. That's exciting.
And the other part is, yeah, there's more demands in
terms of just people wanting your autograph, people sort of asking
you questions. Obviously this week the challenge for me is I
haven't seen most of the golfing world since I won at the U.S.
Open. So obviously a lot of well wishes, which is great. But the
challenge for me is going to be staying in this tournament, not
being dragged back to Merion every five minutes. So that's the
only challenge that's happening this week.
Q. Have they put you in a better car to bring you to the
JUSTIN ROSE: No. I think everyone is looked after
perfectly well this week. Royal Box at Wimbledon was the obvious
perk, I guess, to being back home and being U.S. Open champion.
Q. Given your proximity to links golf, are you a bit
surprised that your best finish is still 1998 in The Open
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, a little bit, for sure. But I feel
like results-wise, yeah, if you look at my results, they're really
not very good in this tournament. But I would say that the
reality is a little bit better than that. I felt that 2009 at
Turnberry I felt like I had a good chance to win there. Just
nothing really went my way on Sunday, and putted poorly for the
most part on that day. But I was so close to being right in the
hunt there at Turnberry.
This tournament in 2002 I was tied third going into the
last round. Obviously just a little bit young and needed a lot
more experience under my belt, but given that sort of similar
situation this year, that's a situation I'd once again relish. So
I have put myself in some better positions than my results card
sort of says, speaks.
I do feel comfortable on links golf. I think having
grown up having played so much of it in the amateur game, you know
how to play it. The yardage book means very little this week.
And I think only experience can really help you through that. I
see no reason why I shouldn't do well here. But like you say, the
stats don't read that well.
Q. You won the U.S. Open on a course at Merion that was very
soft. Can you talk about the different challenge and have you had
to adapt anything in your game to cope with that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, they're polar opposites in the sense
of how the ball is reacting on the ground, but they're similar in
the sense of the strategy in them. Merion I hit a lot of irons
off the tee. I played defensively, sort of conservatively, and I
felt that was the best way to approach it. Now I made that
decision to play that way when there was talk of 14-under and talk
of 62s, but that's just the way I saw the golf course.
Obviously as it turned out I was lucky that my game plan
turned out to be exactly the right one, with 1-over par winning
the tournament. That's my challenge this week, to see the golf
course the right way, to set a game plan that not only keeps me
out of trouble but is aggressive enough to make the most of the
opportunities when they come around.
So I think for me it's going to be quite a cautious game
plan off the tee. Once again, avoid the bunkers. The rough is
obviously up, but once you're in the rough, you can catch the odd
good lie, as well. Even though the hay looks like it's a foot
deep, once you're in it, it's a little sparser than it may look
from the tee. But I think you need to respect the golf course
Q. You have a very technically proficient swing, you're very
aware of angles and alignment. How does that translate to the
imaginative sort of shots you need to hit here?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think what I've had -- I've always
described my relationship with Sean Foley as Sean is incredibly
technical, but he's not mechanical. So I don't really -- I get
wrapped up in the technique and the understanding of how it all
works and the numbers that I need to sort of achieve through
impact, but I do it in a kinesthetic way, feeling it, rather than
sort of placing the club in positions. I do boil it down to
fairly simple feels. And I feel like when I play my best I have
one or two thoughts, but they're more feels. And I feel that my
process, I see the shot and then I can feel what I want to do with
the club and body, and then I go ahead and hit it.
I feel like it lends it well. The course and the style
lends itself to the way I feel and see the game. And also the way
my caddie and I go through our process is that we always boil it
down to a number. And there is a lot of feel involved, but
there's also a lot of guesstimation, I guess, because it's not
perfect art out there. You do need to run the numbers in your
head. If you can only hit it 270, it's downwind, you take off 20
yards, and then you've got to think about 30 yards of run-out. So
there's many, many factors that you have to start thinking about.
But you do need to bring it back to feel.
Feel really comes in when it's blowing 20, 30 miles an
hour. When it's not blowing that hard, I think you can be a lot
more precise, possibly, if that makes any sense. I was all over
Q. There's been a lot of talk this week comparing this to
Merion, that it's a ball-striker's place. It suits the great
ball-strikers. Do you see that as a similarity between here and
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'm hoping so. I think that that was
definitely going to be the case if there was some rain in the
forecast and, say, the rough had gotten a little thicker than it
was now, I definitely thought it was going to be very, very
similar to Merion. But the fact that it's going to be a dust bowl
out there might change it a little bit. I don't quite know how
it's going to impact the scoring yet. But you're going to have to
keep the ball out of trouble, which is exactly what you had to do
At Merion if you missed a shot, more than likely you're
making a bogey. Here at Muirfield if you miss a shot in the
bunkers, you're more than likely going to make a bogey. You can
catch a decent lie in the rough and maybe make a good scrambling
par, but I think really the bunkers off the tee, like any links
golf course, that's what you've got to avoid. My strategy will be
built around that and hopefully the ball-striking will be able to
Q. Could you give us some more examples of unexpected or
exciting things that have happened to you as being a Major golf
JUSTIN ROSE: Not really. It's exciting just -- only
from a personal point of view. There's a lot of work that goes
into it. And just waking up -- I've pretty much carried the
trophy around for the most part for the last month. And just
being able to share it with friends and family and people that
have known me since I was 12 years old. And now they're getting a
chance to have a picture with the U.S. Open trophy. Or be able to
have dinner and have it sitting on the table. Just little moments
amongst close friends and family, that's what really makes it
But other than that it's kind of -- like I say, I've
tucked myself away over the last couple of weeks just with friends
and family. I haven't been really doing anything crazy or
elaborate. That's what I've enjoyed most about it.
Q. You're a part of this generation of English golfers, you
and Luke Donald, I guess, and Ian Poulter and Paul Casey. Being
the first one of that generation to win a Major, do you think that
has any kind of bearing on others as they try to win their first?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think it probably makes them even
more determined, even more hungry to do it. And I think we don't
really go into it with a team mentality. Golf is an individual
game, but we are friends with one another. We've played a lot of
golf with one another. When you see one of your friends and
rivals even, go ahead and do it, and you believe in yourself to be
capable of achieving what they're achieving, it gives you that
incentive and that belief possibly that you can go ahead and do it
But I'm sure the boys are looking at it and thinking,
okay, my turn could be around the corner and just got to
Q. You said that it's vital that you stop yourself drifting
back to the U.S. Open in your mind while you're here. What
safeguards have you put in place to stop that happening?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think it's almost impossible to do
it today and yesterday. Otherwise you're sort of blanking
everybody, and that's not the way I go about things. I think that
happens for me tonight and it happens for me in the morning. I
think it's a lot easier -- once tomorrow comes around, tomorrow is
about The Open Championship, and the rest is irrelevant. So I
think it will be a lot easier to do tomorrow.
Q. You've just come through this seismic event, how do you
stop your mind drifting back? What will you do?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I mean I think it's easier from me to
do it -- if I'm left alone on the golf course, just me and my
caddie, it's pretty easy for me to focus on what I need to focus
on. It's when you have the outside distractions that prevents you
from doing that. But when you're playing a tournament, you're in
a controlled environment and it's business as usual. So I'm
hoping to click back into all the habits that I've built over the
years that produced good golf.
Q. Faldo said yesterday he was going to practice with you
today. Have you done that?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, we played nine holes this morning.
Q. How did that go? He's got great experience here. Did he
offer advice? Did you learn anything from him? And how did he
JUSTIN ROSE: To be honest, we had a friendly nine holes.
I sort of asked him a couple of questions, just curious about his
U.S. Open record and career and we talked about that a little bit.
Actually Nick is hitting the ball quite well, to be
honest with you. He drove the ball well and hit it solid. He
said he's pretty happy with the putting feels. He's got a new
method with the putter where he feels he can step up and make a
stroke. He was talking positively about playing a little more
golf, seeing how this week goes.
But we didn't dive too much into the golf course.
Obviously I feel like I've become pretty good at setting up my own
game plan, and at the end of the day you've got to play to your
own strengths. I think the course this year is probably playing
so much different than years past as well, with it being so firm
and fast. It may be that things that worked in years gone don't
necessarily -- are not as relevant this year. But.
We just had a nice nine holes, basically. It was just
good to be out with him. That was it, really.
Q. Pardon an off-beat question here, but what do you think
about the job the engraver does with the Claret Jug, often under
high-pressure situations such as last year? And please feel free
to be as witty as you'd like.
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm hoping I'm get a two-for-one deal this
year, because I think he's going to engrave the U.S. Open trophy
for me. Obviously the big difference between the U.S. Open and
The Open Championship is that you get the trophy with your name on
it at the prize ceremony. Obviously with the U.S. Open you get it
done yourself. So I'm hoping I get a discount for bulk
Q. I think you arrived here in 2002 in an Austin Powers Jag
in the company of a Mr. Poulter. Have you arrived in similar
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm carless this year. So I won't be able
to -- I think last year, the nose is so long in that Jag, I think
when I was parking, I touched the front wall as I was parking up.
So I wasn't off to the best starts. I think I'll be a little bit
more under the radar. That was obviously all a bit fun. But the
Shaguar, as it was called, was a bit fun (laughter).
Q. Justin, although it is a very tough week, is it fun to be
able to play a completely different sort of game to the one you
normally play, the high ball in and dropping it. Here you've got
all the different directions of the holes, so the different
directions of the wind, you've got to take a look and where you've
got to bounce it so it goes 50 yards further? Can that be quite a
fun thing to do?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, absolutely. But I don't see it at
alien or as different as you may think. You still have to go
ahead and make a good golf swing. Unless it gets incredibly
windy, you're not altering your trajectory that much. You've
still got to hit good golf shots. The calculations in your head
is the very difficult thing. And the perception of distance,
because you're standing up and you're 180 yards away from the hole
and visually you hit a 9-iron, it just doesn't feel right. Even
if you have a five-mile-an-hour wind behind you, that could be a
9-iron. Just the trust in the bounce and the trust in the roll is
what you have to get used to.
Q. Isn't it more visualization and imagination rather than
just that regulation swing?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yes, at times, for sure. But even pitching
and pitch-and-runs, sometimes I feel that you can try and overdo
the pitch, chip-and-running, because you have so many little humps
and hollows and mounds between you and the hole. If you try to
run the ball through it -- for me there's so many variables
involved and if you can take out the wedge and fly a lot of that,
put one bounce, a bit of spin on the ball, if you have good
technique, to be able to trust how the ball is going to react once
the ball bounces, again that's more of a standard shot.
But I feel sometimes you come into links golf and you
feel like you need to try all these fancy chip-and-runs, and
bump-and-runs, and low punches off the tee, that sometimes can be
unnecessary at times, too. There are shots that you need here
that are different, but they're maybe more few and far between
than what you may think. That's my opinion, anyway.
Q. Assuming the weather forecast stays as it is, moderate
winds, firm, fast turf, what do you think the winning score might
JUSTIN ROSE: I really don't know, but I'm thinking, with
good weather, I still think that 8-under is going to be a great
score around here.
MIKE WOODCOCK: Justin, thanks for coming.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports