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April 11, 2014

Justin Rose


Q.  Happy with that?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I'm happy with that round of golf today.  Anything under par today is a good score.  It's not easy out there.
You look at Bubba's play, it definitely sets a standard in your head.  But at the same time, you look at the mean average of the field, I think 2‑, 3‑under par is almost the lead if you take Bubba out of it.  So you've sometimes got to take the leader out of it.  If someone goes out and plays an amazing week, that's hard to beat.  But you've almost got to assume if he did falter, you have to look at the rest of the pack to see if you are in it.
2‑over par, would like to be a little closer to the lead but 2‑over is certainly in it at this point.

Q.  Difference between yesterday and today?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I got off to a smoother start today.
Yesterday I was 4‑over early in my round.  I think the key to today was coming off the course yesterday at 4‑over feeling positive.  I was 6‑over at one point in my round and made a couple late birdies to feel good about the day and that sort of helped the energy coming into today.
I've never missed a cut at Augusta and didn't want to start now, but more than that, I tried not to think about the cut too much and still believe I was in the golf tournament.  I felt like my goal today was to shoot 68 and get back to par.  Today the day was more breezy and difficult than I anticipated.
Getting off to such a slow start, after two weeks off, but my preparation felt good in terms of my game and the way I was hitting it and chipping it and putting it, but there's no substitute sometimes for tournament sharpness.  Hopefully what I lost I have gained in weekend freshness, so I'll hopefully bank on that.

Q.  Bubba was at 8 before the bogey on the last.  What did you think when you saw those numbers going up there?
JUSTIN ROSE:  He obviously made five on the spin, did he, on the back?  That's what this course can do for you, and he took advantage of any possible opportunity there, and he is that great golfer.  I think he's only made two bogeys in 36 holes and that's hard to do around here.
18, to be honest, is a birdie pin‑‑ did he miss?  I'm assuming he missed the fairway.

Q.  He missed the green.
JUSTIN ROSE:  If you hit the fairway that's a birdie pin, and if you hit a half decent iron shot like I did, the ball will feed back to six feet.  He'll probably be frustrated with that but it's a great round of golf.

Q.  Did it get loud when he started going on that run?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I heard some roars and some stuff going on but I didn't put it down to Bubba.  I looked up at the scoreboard at one point and saw he had five in a row.  I wasn't really too aware of what was going on.
Yeah, that was a good grouping, Luke Donald hung in there today, finished all right.  So that's good golf for that three ball.  Unlike our three ball, which kind of dragged a little bit.

Q.  You're right in what you're saying about looking at second place as a lead; does it make it a little bit difficult when the guy who is leading is not a newcomer or first‑timer but a former champion?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, definitely, if you're a Masters Champion, you have so much more belief and confidence in yourself to do it again, there's no doubt.  If you were to script it, you would rather it be somebody else than a major or a Masters Champion up there, so that's definitely going to be a big help for him on the weekend.
But there's no give on this golf course; you can only take one or two shots around the turn there, and the hole can start looking awfully small and those lakes can start to look awfully big.  That's just the way it is.
We saw it with Greg Norman in '96.  It's that kind of golf course and that's why it's so important to keep yourself in touch and that's why they have a ten‑shot rule here just because that's the way the course plays.

Q.  Is it hard because there's so much buildup for this major to not put too much pressure on yourself, as opposed to the other Majors where it just seems to come right on top of the other?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, definitely prepare more specifically for this one than any other and that's just due to where it fits in the season and how much time you have to think about it coming in.
I think the rest of the Majors, you try to be as prepared as possible.  U.S. Open still gives you an opportunity to do something special, but by the time you get to The Open Championship and the PGA, you're just hoping your game is in good shape and you're teeing it up as per normal.
The conditions here, this course is unique in many ways and some of the shots you get and the way they set it up.  I think it's not every day golf that we play.  I think you try to prepare yourself.
I did so much fast‑green putting over the last couple of weeks; I've left every single putt short this week, so I might have to revise that strategy.  I think I've been putting on faster greens than this and now I'm leaving everything short.  So I'm going to have to look at that.

Q.  Considering yesterday's pin positions today, can you remember when conditions were as difficult?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Maybe 2007, which was cold and this windy, possibly, and the course really dried out and no humidity.  So I think we have to go back to 2007.

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