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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP


May 8, 2014


Justin Rose


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA

Q.  When you played, you played well, I think four top 10s, a top 10 last week.  You've taken some time off to let a shoulder injury recover.  Has it been frustrating for you, and how close are you to 100 percent?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think, yeah, I'm close to 100 percent.  I think I am 100 percent.  It hasn't been frustrating.  I think that what I've lost earlier in the year will hopefully pay off in the summer.  Maybe I'll be a little fresher than some of the guys who have played a lot.  It's a long season, so obviously I wasn't playing much golf earlier in the year, and I kept trying to tell myself that, that it is a long year, and you can build your year in two or three weeks, especially with the majors coming around.  I think if you catch fire at the right point in the season, it can be still a great year.

Q.  You do such a good job with keeping the golf ball in front of you.  I would imagine that would play well, that strategy here.  Do you like this golf course?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† This golf course has never been good to me, to be honest with you.¬† It's been one of my‑‑ a bit of a personal challenge over the years to try and figure it out.¬† I changed my strategy a little bit off of a couple of the tees this year to try and keep the ball in play.¬† I think that hitting fairways is important around this golf course.¬† I hit it a little bit better today.¬† I was happy to shoot 5‑under and really not take care of the par‑5s.¬† I played the par‑5s in even today, so obviously creating other chances if I can play the par‑5s a bit better, that will bode well for the rest of the week.

Q.¬† You had one birdie, one bogey on the par‑5s, did a really good job hitting greens.¬† Did that come from hitting fairways?¬† You only missed three greens.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Funny enough I had one of the worst warm‑up sessions I've had all year long.¬† Just a funny thing about this game.¬† I probably hit more greens today than I've hit all year long.¬† It's a weird‑‑ I just sort of try to take care of the face and just try and control‑‑ I just try to feel where the face was throughout my swing, and it turned out to be a good swing key.¬† I literally found that walking from the range to the 10th tee.¬† I had nothing walking to the 10th tee.

Q.  Give us some opening thoughts on your round.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, obviously very happy with that start today.  I felt like we were going to get the best of the conditions today.  I was actually surprised that the wind kicked up as much as it did early in the round, but I looked at the scoreboard and clearly guys weren't having too much trouble with it, and I think that's down to the fact that the greens are soft.  So I felt that the course was there for the taking.  You could be aggressive with your iron play, and yeah, I was just happy to get off to a good start.

Q.  Were you looking for something on the range?  It looked like you weren't altogether pleased with how you were hitting the ball, and then you went out and hit it.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, that's one of those weird days in the game of golf.¬† It was pretty awful on the range and had not much feel of anything that I was doing to be honest with you, and having played quite well recently, it was a bit of an out‑of‑the‑blue moment.¬† But I guess all Sean could offer really is take a couple of deep breaths and good luck, because everything looked okay.¬† It was just a matter of I didn't have any feel today.
Sometimes it lowers your expectation.¬† I saw Harris English swing off the first tee, and I kind of thought, okay, I can do something like that.¬† He's got a great move through the ball, and it sort of reminded me of maybe what I should be doing.¬† So basically Harris was my warm‑up, watching him hit one shot off the first tee, and I kind of had it from there.

Q.  You've got an inconsistent record here.  Did you try something new this time?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† It's a nice way to put it around here, yeah.¬† Obviously I've known‑‑ I've certainly been aware of the fact I haven't played well here.¬† I looked at my strategy, and I've changed it a little bit, holes like 6 I don't play aggressively anymore, maybe 7 hit 3‑wood off the tee.¬† I think I just try and get the ball in play off the tee a lot more than I have in the past.¬† We'll see how that works.¬† I mean, that'll remain to be seen.¬† That'll work well on a Sunday as well as a Thursday.¬† I'm glad that paid off for me as I managed to make some birdies today.¬† I was pleased with the way I played in terms of I played the par‑5s even par and still got a good round of golf going.¬† That tells me tomorrow if I take care of the par‑5s, try and keep some momentum going.

Q.  What do you feel building in your game the last month or so?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I've just been scoring really more than anything.¬† I don't feel like I'm playing any better.¬† I've been swinging the club well on the range for the most part all year, and just been waiting for it to turn around onto the golf course or being able to take it to the golf course.¬† Even the last few weeks I don't feel like I've had my so‑called "A"game, but beginning to figure out how to get it in the hole, score, chip and putt, grind a little bit better, stay a bit more patient.¬† So yeah, just sort of playing a bit more golf to get into that rhythm.
I think this is what I've been waiting for really is just to sort of be ready to go.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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