2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf Interview: Justin Rose

JULIUS MASON:  Visiting us in the expanded media center here at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.  Thanks for popping on in.  How about some thoughts on the golf course and what you did out there in the Pro Am today? 

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, obviously I went around the golf course yesterday morning in a golf cart, but stopped to play a couple shots here and there and putted around the greens.  I thought I really enjoyed it.  I thought it was a great golf course. 

I couldn't help but play 16 a couple of times, what an amazing hole that IS.  But today the course showed me something different, a little bit of breeze out there; to get above the hole with downgrain putts, there's a couple of holes that you have to be really defensive with the putting I think just speed wise and I thought it was a good test of golf today.  I haven't played in a heavy breeze like this for quite a while. 

Going off the 9th, I hit a 7 iron from about 127 yards, so that has not happened for quite a while either.  It's an adjustment today just getting back into seeing    judging the wind.  I think that was the biggest challenge today, but I'm glad I got that under my belt and the surprise wasn't tomorrow. 

JULIUS MASON:  First ever visit to the island? 

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yes, first ever visit to the island.  Obviously having a great time on and off the golf course.  Hospitality has been incredible.  Food has been great.  Obviously the views and the ocean and the water are best in the world.  So yeah, it's a fantastic trip.

JULIUS MASON:  Looked like it was more than just golf going on out there.  Something happen on 18 tee that you can tell us about? 

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, Brian Lara is a guy I grew up admiring for years.  I've known of cricket and I played cricket since I was about ten years old and he was probably in his prime, I don't know, whenever it was, but I certainly followed his career. 

Yeah, to have the opportunity to be messing around with him with a cricket ball and a cricket bat on the stumps was a lot of fun.  I'd been bragging about my googly earlier in the day, which is a type of spin ball that you can bowl.  It's a tough bowl, but it's one I thought I could naturally just bowl.  I don't even know how I do, just one of those weird things.  And so I was bragging him about it, telling about how I bowl natural googly and I bowled Andrew Strauss at a golf tournament recently.  He's like, okay, okay, cool, cool. 

So I think the first few balls, he's like, all right, I'm going to show you and swatted them away with aplomb, yeah. 

JULIUS MASON:   Looks like you haven't lost much, but I can promise you now that all us will be talking about your googly for the next couple of days (laughter).

JUSTIN ROSE:  I don't know how good it is.  At this point, more talk than anything, trust me.

Q.  It's been five months since the U.S. Open; looking back, how much satisfaction do you get and how much more confidence do you have since that win? 

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, winning a major is such a step above other tournaments.  The feeling you get from them, what they mean, how much people strive to achieve what the four of us have achieved this year, I think it really hits home and makes you realize why you work hard at the game, because it really is the pinnacle. 

And when you do have the privilege of lifting one of those trophies, you really feel like you are    you said it earlier.  You're part of golf history.  Just looking down the role of honor there, it's an amazing feeling and surreal, but I feel like it whets your appetite for more.

Obviously there's been a lot of players throughout history who have struggled to win a major; great players have never won a major.  So I feel very grateful to have that monkey off my back. 

But at the same time, I feel like I'm working my way into the prime of my career.  Between 30 and 40 I always felt was going to be the time I do it if ever.  Since I've turned 30 it's been a decent run and you take a lot of encouragement from guys like Phil, for example, who didn't start winning his majors until probably my age or mine and Adam's age.  So you begin to believe that a great career is possible when you start to win your first major.

Q.  One of the benefits you is get to come here to this exclusive event.  Can you talk about being here and when you drive up to the hotel, driving up to the hotel or golf course and seeing your picture on the banners and all the walls, it has to be awfully gratifying, as well. 

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, it's incredibly gratifying.  It's an event that I've been aware of for year and year, and probably one that I've yearned to play in. 

Another great thing is you get to share it with family.  Everyone is so hospitable; you're encouraged to bring your family and friends and enjoy it with people that are close to you, and that's what I'm doing this week.  All the people that have made sacrifices for me along the way, I wanted to bring them here and share the experience with them. 

Q.  As much as you can talk to other major champions about what it's like to have won that, does it really not hit home until you've been able to actually experience it?

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I don't think you can prepare for the feelings really by just talking to other guys.  It has to come from within, too, I think.  Major championships are a test of what's inside more than your golf game, too, I think and I think that's what it's all about. 

It's about dealing with your own inner workings of your mind and not    in a sense, they are such a big deal, but the key is to not make them such a big deal in the moment when you have the chance to win it.  I think that's the challenge that a lot of us face out there, and that's what I felt like I overcame at Merion. 

I felt like I stayed pretty cool and calm for the most part.  Of course I was nervous and everything like that, but I remained sort of in control of my emotions and that I think is obviously easier said than done, but that's definitely the formula I feel that will work well for me in the future. 

Q.  Wonder if you could talk about some of the enjoyable opportunities that have come your way since Merion just because of what you did one week there. 

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, sure, a couple things that spring to mind would be sitting in the Royal Box at Wimbledon watching the final, watching Andy Murray achieve what he did and break a spell there and be the first man since Fred Perry to win at Wimbledon, British player.  So that was great, to be there on that day was amazing and to be sitting in the company that I was was a little surreal. 

And just recently, I had a chance to do a boys trip that I do every year, it's called the J.I. Challenge.  It's a group of ten of my oldest players and we all get together once a year and play a bit of golf, more so just catch up with one another.  They all live in England for the most part.  This year being U.S. Open Champion, I felt like I could call in a couple more favors that I would typically and we played some great tracks.  We played Pine Valley; we went back to Merion.  So to have the opportunity to bring ten of my best friends to Merion and play a round of golf was very special.

JULIUS MASON:   Can't do that unless you're a Major winner (laughter). 

Q.  You and Adam are close friends; can you talk about, for years, the expectations for both of you to win major championships and to do it in the same year, and then to be here together that's got to be awfully special, as well?

JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, it is really special.  To follow Adam to the very next major is unbelievable, really, because I was at Augusta and we stayed at Augusta Sunday night and my whole family were in the living room of the house that we rented watching the finish to the tournament.  We are just really pulling for Adam, and we are so excited for Adam. 

Actually, I've got some video on my phone of my little boy copying Adam's sort of celebration, but he was doing it in slow motion because that's what the TV kept replaying was the putt on 18 in slow motion.  So my four year old was copying it in slow motion (laughter).  I shared that sort of text with Adam and stuff like that. 

But just watching other guys win tournaments, and often you're happy for them, and sometimes you're a bit envious because that's the situation you want to be in, but for Adam, I was just delighted for him, especially after how he sort of handled The Open Championship the year before.  I thought he showed all the class in the world, which is his true colors. 

So I thought he got what he deserved there at Augusta and yeah, for me to be a close friend of his    and I feel like our careers are in some ways similar.  He's probably had a little bit more of a consistent journey than myself.  But I felt like I've always just been    often I've sort of emulated him, moving to America and doing similar things.  But if he continues to win Majors, I don't mind being one step behind him, so we'll see.

JULIUS MASON:  Justin, thanks very much for visiting us.

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