What they said: Justin Rose

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March 19, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

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COLIN MURRAY: Justin Rose, thanks for joining us, great playing, bogey-free 65 today, 13-under par for the week. Currently one-shot lead. If you could just talk a little bit obviously your great play today and thoughts going into tomorrow.

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, sure. I mean, obviously yeah it was nice to get off to a good start today. Finished things -- lit up on the back nine yesterday and came out today and it was much the same feeling. I think I've had two runs of four birdies in a row, which is obviously pretty rare, back-to-back days or back-to-back nines even. So that was nice.

First 27 holes of the tournament, I had to be really patient. Knew I was playing well. Wasn't getting much out of it. Obviously the next combined 18 went really hot and a little bit of the same the last nine holes. I had to be patient again. But this is a golf course that it's easy to be patient on really, in terms of if you hit in the middle of the green, you 2-putt for par, you know you're not being lapped by the rest of the field; it's not Disney from that type of scoring perspective.

I was pretty comfortable on the back nine just doing what I'm doing and waiting for the chances to come and it was certainly nice to finish through one on 18.

COLIN MURRAY: If you could take us through your birdies, that would be great.

JUSTIN ROSE: I hit driver, 3-wood into the bunker and hit a bunker shot to seven, eight feet and made it.

Then I hit a 7-iron to about eight feet on 4, made that.

Driver, 5-wood, lob-wedge to four feet at 5.

Driver, 8-iron to three feet at 6.

3-wood pitching wedge to eight feet at 7.

And then driver, 8-iron to about six feet at 18.

Q. You kind of alluded to yesterday that you kind of liked your position because you had been hitting it so well, but yet you had not made many putts. Obviously you felt like this was coming on, and just confidence??

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it's nice to go out there and not sort of be trying to find -- tinkering around with too many swing keys. My goal for the next couple of weeks was to whittle it down to something very simple heading into Augusta. And that I think that should still be my goal really, the next couple of weeks just to really every day drop a thought, drop something, so you can go into that tournament as free and relaxed as possible.

Tomorrow will be a challenge to keep that mind-set going because obviously you get into a situation like this, there's more at stake. But that mind-set pays off even more; so if I can continue to think that way, that's the way I've got to go out and deal with tomorrow.

Q. So your head is kind of free??

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. Exactly, I'm just playing. I'm just trying to be as good as I can be out there, see the shots, take on the shots that I like the look of and commit to them and accept what happens and not worry about stuff that I can't control really.

Q. Does your success last year help you for tomorrow??

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, definitely. I said last year, it was nice, every time you get in contention now to not have to feel the question of, so, is this going to be the week that you break through.

When you do deal with those questions, it makes getting into contention early in the week a very long week. Because obviously I'm aware of it and I know how to deal with it but it doesn't make it any easier.

So, yeah, from that sense it's nice not to have to fend that one off, and straight bat, cricket term (smiling).

Q. Your ball-striking has been very strong this week. Were you really messing around with a lot of stuff to get the swing to where you want it to??

JUSTIN ROSE: No, not really. I've been playing nicely all year I felt to be honest with you. I think I was 10th in greens in regulation a week or two ago; so obviously there's been some good signs all year.

The last ten days or so, I've been trying to hit a lot of draws, draw shots. At the Tavistock Cup on the second day I thought I had begun to overcook that, so I felt like I got into one or two bad habits. Had Sean up here two Tuesday, Wednesday and worked on some simple things, mainly posture. So it's nice when the fixes are that simple.

Q. Are you going into tomorrow thinking you need a 66 to win this thing or do you have a number in mind??

JUSTIN ROSE: I don't have a number in mind. I haven't had numbers in mind for a good year. I haven't really set goals. Every day I just try to commit to my process. My goal is to be as good as I can be, and if that means I shoot 65 and win by five, then that's a goo day. And if it means that I have to gut it out and be as good as I can be on scratchy day and win by one, I'm fine with that.

I don't know what tomorrow holds. I just know that I have to deal with it as best I can. We'll see.

Q. Question related to -- you were born in South Africa? Of English parents who were there on business or whatever; does that give you dual citizenship if you want it?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it did. I think -- I'm not sure if it lapsed at 18.

Q. That was my question, because then would you qualify for the international squad??

JUSTIN ROSE: On The Presidents Cup? I think I could have been eligible. I'm not sure. I don't know if I still could be. Who knows.

Q. I think Aaron Baddeley was born in New Hampshire, and so he could actually play for -- he said he never would.

JUSTIN ROSE: Okay. Right. Interesting. If they stop picking me in The Ryder Cup, I might have to (laughter).

Q. Is it easier, you touched on this, but because you had a couple of chances in contention last year and won two of them, you've been through there, is it, I don't want to say less important, but is it easier for you? You know what's going on and what to do.

JUSTIN ROSE: I've got better experiences to draw upon tomorrow. I think I found a way of thinking that helped me out there, and I know the pitfalls of playing under pressure and playing in contention, so I know what my tendencies are.

So I'll be able to just keep it close, check on those, and it does not necessarily mean it's all going to go smoothly tomorrow. You have to be ready for whatever happens. But at least I kind of am aware of the up-and-downs and the things I'm going to face. And I think that maybes it a lot easier to deal with.

Q. General feelings about the course??

JUSTIN ROSE: You know, it's good. We have had three days of perfect weather. I mean, the greens, they are not soft but they are not bouncing too far. The wedges are coming in dead, so it's kind of -- you are not having to deal with backspin which sometimes makes it easier to get the ball close to the hole.

Not a lot of grass on them. Man, they look scary fast. There's a few putts out there that -- my putt at 18 was a case of just getting it outside the right edge and hoping for the best. It was pretty baked-out.

But actually they have held up really, really well. I thought beginning of the week they could turn to powder, but they have really held up nicely. They have done a good job on the greens and they are putting really well.

Q. What about the galleries??

JUSTIN ROSE: Good. Good vibe out there, yeah. Obviously there's a nice vibe on 17, looks like everyone is having a lot of fun there. It would be nice to take a 20-minute time out and join the festivities.

I've always enjoyed this tournament. I kind of have my own little crowd, as well. I have some friends who are members here at Innisbrook and there are a few English people who always follow me at this tournament. I have like ten people at the moment, a rent-a-crowd, that makes the atmosphere good.

Q. Highlight of the week away from the golf course??

JUSTIN ROSE: I mean, obviously the facilities here are great for families. My little boy playing all yesterday afternoon in that Loch Ness pool, great for the kids. They can have a ball. It's a good way for me to get away from the game, as well, family time, taking time out and getting away from the thoughts of practice and this and that.

So I just hung out, as well, watched him play and dipped in the water a little bit. It was nice.

Q. Do they have any slides that you fit in or anything??

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, he's still too small, so that means no fun for me yet. (Laughter).

Q. When you're in this mode, are you hitting a lot of balls now or loosening up and cool down after??

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think I'm loosening it up. It's been a busy run recently with the Tavistock Cup in the middle of the World Golf event and this tournament. One of the problems that I had last week in Doral was I overscheduled myself. Beginning of the week I was busy; I had a lot of meetings, appointments, media, I just had a lot going on. So I felt like this is the kind of week where I needed to get away, not practice that much actually. Might as well stick with what's working.

Q. In terms of knowing your pitfalls under pressure, what do you really have to be on guard for??

JUSTIN ROSE: Just getting quick I guess. I think that's probably the biggest pitfall most guys face out here under pressure is everything speeds up a little bit. That's the main one.

COLIN MURRAY: Justin, thanks for your time and play well tomorrow.

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