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May 21, 2014

Justin Rose


PAUL SYMES:  Justin, many thanks, as always for joining us.  This week is a homecoming of sorts for you.  You grew up not far from here.  Must be extra special to bring the U.S. Open trophy home.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Absolutely.  It was an HONOUR to have it there last night at the Player Awards dinner.  For years I've seen all the biggest trophies in the game sit proudly on the first tee during this championship.  So, yeah, it's an amazing feeling for that to be my turn now.
PAUL SYMES:¬† You've finished runner‑up here twice.¬† Do you feel if you don't get that win on the board, it might be that one that got away a little bit?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, if I was 42 sitting here, yeah, I would probably say so, but plenty of time.  It's a bucket list tournament for me as I've sort of been saying the last couple of days.
It's a tournament I grew up watching as a kid so it's definitely special to me; the Majors, a World Golf Championships or two possibly, and I don't see a tournament I wouldn't more like to win.  So it's important.  It was a lot to balance for me this week but playing good golf is the ultimate goal now.
PAUL SYMES:  And what's your form like coming into the week?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Form is good.  Been playing well.  Been building some nice momentum.  Obviously three Top 10s in a row, three top 5s my last two, and I feel like there's more to squeeze out of my game, too.
So I feel that the next couple weeks I can progress even more; if that translates into wins, that would be fantastic.  It would be great to win heading into Pinehurst but at the same time I feel like my game is in good shape to putt up a good title defense there.

Q.  Have you been to Pinehurst, because it looks a hell of a lot different than what it did for the last two is U.S. Opens there.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, exactly, and in some ways I'm glad about that because I've never played Pinehurst, and I think guys who played in 2005 won't have as much of an advantage because of the course re‑design.
There was a lot of rough in 2005, fairways were narrow, typically USGA‑style fairways.¬† But this year, it's going to play I think more of a running game, almost a mix between U.S. Open and an Open Championship, I'm led to believe.
So have not been there, but I had not been to Merion at this stage last year so my preparation is going to be very similar.  I'm going to head up to the venue the week before, spend some time, get to know the golf course, put a game plan in place, and as I did at Merion.
Hopefully that's the important part is that you see the course the right way and you develop your strategy the right way and you've got to try and play to a number, and if you feel like that number is 8‑under, you build your strategy accordingly or if it's even par you build your strategy accordingly.
At Merion last year, I was building it to play even par golf, and then I got to the course and everyone was talking about 12‑, 14‑under for the week and I was like, oh, well, at that point, I was a little worried but I'm glad that my game plan played out for me.

Q.¬† In relation to the U.S. Open trophy, perhaps a three‑part question:¬† What's the best place you've taken it, what's the best reaction you've had, and where do you still want to take it before you hand it back?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Well, I've lost my opportunity now.  I think it gets FedEx'ed after this week.  I'm not sure I get my hands on it again.  So it's time to think about winning it now.
The best place it's been has been in my house because I enjoy it every day.  I walk past it, it sits on the piano, which is in the living room.  So pretty much every day, I walk back and forth, back and forth.
About a week or two ago I put it on the dresser that we have in our bedroom.¬† So just wake up‑‑ I thought, really we're getting to the last few weeks I'm going to really stride and enjoy it now.¬† Basically every morning I woke up and I would see it.
I think the biggest perk of winning the was sitting in the Royal Box at Wimbledon and seeing Andy Murray win there.  So that was a pretty special occasion.
Fun facts:  Leo ate some ice cream out of it.  He was the first to Christen the trophy.  I had not even had a drink but he had some ice cream out of it and we got some great video, I think will last a lifetime, and some great memories.  It holds five bottles of champagne, just FYI.

Q.  Does it have a nickname?
JUSTIN ROSE:  It doesn't have a nickname, no.

Q.  Winning the Gazette Player of the Year, not quite up there with the U.S. Open but nice to be recognised?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, absolutely.¬† I know the Gazette follows me on Twitter and there's always an alert, every week I see that my progress is being put out to the local people there.¬† And that's nice to know that you guys are following my career, and clearly that's‑‑ you always remember where you grew up and that's often where you have your fondest memory.
So to be recognised for my achievements, I guess last year with that sort of honour with that award is very pleasing, so, thank you.

Q.  I understand it's a Ryder Cup year obviously, a couple years ago, everyone was saying Europe are in a really strong position but maybe this year, USA are a bit strong; what's your thoughts?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Well, my thoughts are is that it's been a one‑point match the last two years.
So although, I think Europe, we've been the fortunate team to get the result both times.¬† Could have gone either way, especially Medinah.¬† I think if you look at Celtic Manor, because of the weather, all six matches went out one day and we won that day 6‑0.
If you look at the other sessions, there were a lot of sessions we didn't win.  Medinah, again a lot of sessions we didn't win and we won the singles strongly.
So we need to go in there very sharp, and certainly with no complacency, and that will be, I'm sure, the attitude of the captain and certainly the players.¬† Whenever it's a one‑point game, the teams are so evenly matched, it comes down to passion, and I think Paul will be a fantastic captain when it comes down to passion.
Playing at home is a huge advantage.¬† That's something I don't know yet.¬† That's what I haven't yet experienced, so Paul last night was talking about, you know, he really wants Gleneagles to be a passionate‑‑ obviously respectful but incredibly loud, passionate, enthused crowd, an atmosphere.
So as a player, having never played in front of a home crowd, that sounds amazing to me.  Obviously got some hard work yet in front of me, but it's obviously clearly a big goal of mine to make sure I'm there.

Q.  Adam won a major, you followed.  Adam's No. 1 this week; where does getting to No. 1 rank on your list of priorities?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, it's a career goal of mine, absolutely.  I have no time line on that one.  But I think it's more achievable now than it's ever been in the sense that I think Tiger had probably been up to an average of 15 points I think at some point in his career, and that's an amazing amount of points to collect, and I think right now, it's at about eight.
I'm around six average points.  So for me, playing 50 tournaments, if I was to win two weeks in a row for example, the next two, that would put me right there around world No. 1.
So it's achievable and attainable in a very short amount of time for me, but also, I have no time frame on that.¬† I think I'm just focusing on week‑to‑week and winning golf tournaments, and it's a by‑product of that.
For me, it's something nice just to have achieved in your career.  I don't think it necessarily means the world.  I just think it's nice to tell people at some point you were the No. 1 player in the world.

Q.  Will you talk about the reason for adding The Scottish Open to your schedule this year?  And I think the plan is to move it around some of the traditional links courses in years to come; do you think that's a good idea, as well?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, I think it's a fantastic idea.¬† I believe the last‑‑ I believe the last two or three, maybe even four Open Championship winners have played The Scottish Open.¬† So clearly there's something to that.
I watched the way Phil did it last year, looked like a good plan.  My record of late in The Open Championship is another reason why I'm changing my schedule running into that.
Again, I liked Castle Stuart, but Royal Aberdeen, played it a long time ago in a junior match and my recollections are vague but I understand it's a great links course.¬† So moving around‑‑ it's how you set up a course.¬† We want to play the best courses in the world, certainly in Scotland but I think they are also aware that they don't need to set it up like an Open Championship, either.¬† Players don't want to play two Majors in a row back‑to‑back.¬† So I think that they have a very nice date and a very nice plan for the tournament.

Q.  Did Paul Lawrie encourage you to go there?  I know Paul has been trying to get players.  Did he play any part in your decision at all?
JUSTIN ROSE:  No, he didn't.  I haven't spoken to Paul.  Very much I make my own decisions based upon what's going to be best for my game and winning tournaments, yeah.
PAUL SYMES:  Thanks again, Justin, and have a great week.

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