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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP


May 10, 2014


Justin Rose


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA

Q. Tell us what's going through your mind.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, that was a bitter pill to swallow at the end of a battling day. In some ways, it is my own fault for trying to be my own rules official.
I hit it through the back of 18 and as I soled my club, there's some really abnormal ground conditions there and I was expecting to have a fairway lie and put my club down.
And it was a very, incredibly spongy, thatchy, bit of fairway and the whole sort of surface underneath my wedge gave way.
And at that point you make a call, did my ball move, did it just sort of move with the turf and oscillate.
Clearly, I was surprised, when I soled my club, to have that reaction, that the ball did.
I backed off, and actually this is where it turns out to be my fault, but I looked at the big screen, they played it back on TV. As I'm on 18, I'm watching it replay, Sergio is there with me, and we both clearly look at the evidence and look at the replay and say, no, absolutely, the ball didn't move.
But under 50 times magnification in the truck maybe the ball moved a quarter of a dimple toward the toe of the club, which, obviously, if the ball moved, it moved and I get assessed an extra stroke penalty. Whereas, if, in the moment, I would have called the rules official, I would have only been assessed one stroke by moving it back.
But as a player you have to make that judgment call. And I've been out here a long time and trying to do the right thing and it was just, in the moment, I just felt that I could make that determination and, unfortunately ‑‑ it was a surprising feeling when I did ground the club, but the whole area, I think there's about six or eight inches around my ball, it was as if there was an old hole that it had grown over and it was just incredibly spongy there.
Yeah, it's disappointing. I've gone from trying to chip in to make three, to walking off with six.
So, disappointing, but in the same way, I'm glad now that at least the right decision's been made. The ball moved, obviously I made a mistake, it's not a one‑stroke penalty, it's two, but, yeah, I got to just move on tomorrow now.

Q. They took a long look at it, you were down here and up there, so you were in agreement that it did move?
JUSTIN ROSE: Eventually, yeah. But it took four trucks and different technology to actually get down to it.
When I signed my card, we agreed that it hadn't moved and that the NBC footage, everyone agreed that it hadn't moved.
And then I think it was a call from David Probyn back in the U.K., and I don't know if they saw it even more magnified or what, but he was concerned.
That made me go down, I went down to the Sky Sports trailers and, again, we looked at it in one trailer, everyone was pretty happy that it didn't move; and then we looked at it in the third trailer, where they really zoomed in. And, I mean, the movement is not even ‑‑ it was virtually not visible.
So I just wish you guys could get a sense of what I felt when I addressed the ball. Because I definitely felt there was movement, but the sponginess of that area, it felt like it was just, the whole area trampolined and there was no movement to the golf ball.
That's the determination you make in the moment. I was caught by surprise addressing the golf ball. But at no point did that ball, in my mind, move out of its position, its original position.
So one of those hard ones to take. It's a game of millimeters, at the best of times; and yet it's kind of frustrating when you feel scared to address a golf ball.
When you're playing on imperfect surfaces and you go ahead and you're grounding or soling any type of club, it's amazing how kind of timid you have to be.
Sometimes, if you're in the rough, definitely if you're in the rough, you go in there very carefully. But when you're in the fairway, I think it's something that we go in there very routinely. And it was just something that caught me by surprise.

Q. (No Microphone.)
JUSTIN ROSE: At the end of the day, the rule is there to stop guys aggressively soling the club and improving their lie, I think.
Ultimately, that's probably why the rule is in place. You get guys in there, jamming the club down, if there was no penalty for the ball moving, I think that's why the rule's there.
But in my case it was, I don't know, you want to call it a hair, I don't even know, but the whole area that, like, I would say, the six inches around my golf ball was very uneven and uncertain.
So, yeah, but, no, no, advantage gained and obviously now big disadvantage, unfortunately.

Q. Was it a little over the top to have to go through this much to get to this result?
JUSTIN ROSE: It has to be the right result. Because if the ball moves, whether it moves an inch, if the ball moves a hair, the ball moved.
And I'm happy now, my conscience is clear, I'll sleep better tonight, knowing that, eventually, the right decision was made.
Unfortunately, I get penalized the two strokes by trying to make the decision in realtime. I think that out here we self‑police so much and that's what I try to do in the moment.
And I had the, I had, I thought I had the advantage of seeing the replay, which made me feel even better about the decision I just made, that the ball hadn't moved out of its original position.
It was just ‑‑ in that case, in that scenario, it's surprised where it ended up. But in some ways I'm glad that it went that far, so I start tomorrow in the rightful place.

Q. The call from the U.K., do you know when it came in the process?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it came incredibly quickly. It came as I was in the scorers hut, because I've walked in there and Montana is in there and he said, "We got no problem, right?" The guys were happy with the replay.
He already had known, because of my reaction, backing off, he knew that there was already some sort of issue on 18. He said that everyone seemed happy with it, when I was signing my card.
And then, as I was about to leave the trailer, one of the other rules officials came up and said, "Listen, we have had a call in from the U.K." and I'm like, oh, of course, everybody calls in.
But when it happened to be David Probyn, who is a well‑respected rules official and tournament director over there, that's kind of when I really wanted to see the evidence, what he thought he had seen.
He's obviously got better eyes than most, because it took me seven or eight attempts and magnified 50 times to actually get down to seeing whether the ball moved or not.
So, but, anyway, listen, the point is, I've always tried to play my game the right way and I'm going to feel better teeing it up tomorrow than if it had been otherwise.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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