What they said: Justin Rosetext sizeMarch 02, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I'm really happy with that, obviously a pair of 66s to open up things here is more than acceptable.
Yeah, looking forward to the weekend really. I've played the course twice now, once with the calm conditions and then today showing a little bit of teeth as it did with the winds. And by all accounts I believe we are due to expect a little bit of wind on the weekend, which is what you sign up for here in South Florida.
I'm happy I got to see the course play the way it did today and get a feel for it and look forward to the weekend.
JOHN BUSH: Looks like solid ball-striking on your part up to this point.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, for the most part I'm really happy with my game. Hit a lot of quality iron shots. And the difference is, yeah, just made a few of those mid-range putts to get me up towards the lead. I've been playing nicely all year and feeling very comfortable with things and just been waiting for something to happen.
Q. You finished third here two years ago; is this a course that fits your game very well??
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think so. I like the style of golf that's required here. Some weeks, the challenge is to make as many birdies as possible, and other weeks, it's limit the mistakes. And this is definitely a limit-the-mistakes kind of golf course. I think it rewards good ball-striking. I think it rewards good thinking, and I like to play that style of golf.
Q. In the last two years, you've had a few up-and-downs; do you feel like you're on a nice upward trend at the moment??
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I really do. I feel comfortable with my game and feel comfortable with where I am mentally. I've had three wins since I came here last time.
So I feel that that's been definitely an upward trend. And yeah, I just feel like I've been working diligently in the right areas of my game and it's nice to see the results pop up.
Q. With the putts going in today, is that something that had been coming along, the mid-range putts finding the bottom of the Cup??
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think -- I played two tournaments this year. I played, well, three. Including one round at the Match Play but I don't really include that; too brief to figure out how you're playing. (Laughter).
I played in San Diego and L.A. and you're playing on poa annua greens, and you're seeing a lot of putts bouncing around. Typical of what we get on the West Coast. I didn't know where my putting was at exactly.
So these greens are exactly as It put on back home at Lake Nona. So it's nice to be on something comfortable and something I've been practicing on all off-season. It shows me that my putting is actually in pretty good shape.
Q. You got a little unlucky on 6 with where your ball ended up behind the green. What was the thought process of choosing the wood there or the chip??
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I felt like I could hit the chip twice. I couldn't guarantee any sort of contact with a chip shot. I took -- it's not really a shot in practice, you can't often replicate those lies, so it's like a bit of a gamble almost.
I actually thought it was a bit slower up that hill, and in the back of my mind I thought could I hit a little bit of a positive shot but it scooted up really quickly and I had a very quick putt down the hill and it was hard to putt a great stroke on it.
The iron shot from the rough, actually, was a great shot, one of the best shots I hit today and for a moment when it landed, I thought it might be in close. But to make bogey off that was a little disappointing. But at the same time, you can't play 36 holes around here and expect to come away without any bruises at all.
Q. What crossed your mind when you saw 61 go up on the board? And also, you shot a nice round if the morning and in the afternoon now. What were conditions like this afternoon?
JUSTIN ROSE: 61, no matter what the conditions -- actually, I'm not even sure how it was this morning. I'm taking it was fairly calm this morning. I mean, we had it fairly calm yesterday morning. But 61, that's an unbelievable score.
I felt like this afternoon, it was a lot harder to get close to the pins. Maybe when it was calm, you could get at every pin. But the way the course was set up, it seemed to be the wind was blowing you away from the edge of the green that the pin was located.
So it was tough to go low this afternoon which made me even happier with my round. I felt like getting to 6-under at one point in my round was a great round of golf. But like I said, I'm happy I've played in both conditions. I'm happy I've played it with a nice breeze this afternoon, which is going to be what we'll face tomorrow.
Q. For all you've accomplished in your career, your best finish in a major is a fourth in the British way back in '98. How much of a gap is that in your resumé??
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, there was a spell where I felt that I was competing nicely in the majors. 2007 I had four top 12s in that season, and I had a good run at the Masters. I was one back on the 71st hole. So I kind of had a sniff there.
So I felt like I've had my chances. But at the same time, definitely a gap. Especially the last couple seasons. And this year I feel like my game is in a spot -- I like the tougher tests to be honest with you. I think it suits me better than the 20-under par weeks. That should couple up with doing well in majors. Hopefully I can show a bit of -- hopefully I can back that thought process up this year.
Q. This course is not supposed to give up low scores like this. Do you expect it to continue on the weekend??
JUSTIN ROSE: I think when it blows around here, what I like about it is, par holds its position nicely and if you do go go out and play really, really, well you can make big inroads. The year I finished third here, I shot 67, 64 on the weekend and think went from around the cut line to third.
So, it just shows you -- and I think it's good to be able to play that sort of venue. And this weekend, there will be guys who go out and shoot 67s and 66s. It's just where they stack up right now. So obviously the halfway point, just see where everybody stands; but the guy who is going to win is going to play great this weekend.
JOHN BUSH: Justin, we appreciate your time.