FedEx St. Jude Championship

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Memphis, Tennessee, USA

TPC Southwind

Justin Rose

Quick Quotes

Q. Would you take us through the round? What changed?

JUSTIN ROSE: It's amazing isn't it. Very little changed but a lot changed. Scoring obviously day one, I've probably never had a round like that where I actually felt like I had hit it pretty good. Certainly off the tee, but I think I hit 11 of 14 fairways, which on this golf course puts you in great position to go ahead and shoot a good number.

Got totally caught out with the speed of the greens day one. For some reason, they felt to me much quicker than the putting green. My putting prep this week has been fantastic. I felt really good in pre-tournament stuff.

Yeah, just was like knocking it six feet past, missing putts, four-putted, two three-putts, and then I guess just chased a couple of the wrong pins at the wrong time and just compounded a few errors, and it all amounted to 76.

Yeah, these types of tournaments are long events. There's obviously no cut, but obviously I've always -- with these condensed fields being 70, I'm actually a proponent of no cut because they're so hard to get into it.

If you think about going to next year, to get into all the elevated events, you've got to be top 50 on the FedExCup. That's a pretty good season. It takes away the opportunity of a course record today for guys who kind of have not had the greatest couple of days but maybe have earned their right to play in these big events, to take those two rounds away from you when you can go low. I could still have a pretty good week this week based on having a weekend.

It's obviously fortunate to have that opportunity being in a short field, no cut, but nice to go out and make the most of it today.

Q. Any idea that you were looking at a course record there? How many course records do you hold?

JUSTIN ROSE: Good question. You hold them momentarily, you think about them maybe for a little bit, and then you never know if somebody shoots a number next year. I actually have no idea on that.

But I was aware of 59. That was really my primary objective. Middle of the 15th fairway at 8-under, that's a sand wedge into the green. Hit a good shot over the top of the flag.

That's one of the challenges all the players are having this week is just controlling your distances with the short irons. The ball is going so far because of the heat.

Then obviously 16 is always an opportunity where you kind of throw an eagle at it or something. So I knew that 59 was obviously on the cards.

The last two holes, the wind picked up. We're on the edge of a storm it feels like, and the last two holes played pretty tricky.

But in the end, happy to end up with two pars.

But yeah, I actually didn't realize 61 was the course record, but great. Nice little bonus for the day.

Q. I'm sure you've had a chance to shoot 59 before.


Q. When that sort of enters your mind, do you embrace it or are you one of those guys that kind of runs from it?

JUSTIN ROSE: Well, clearly I ran from it because I bogeyed the last for 60 in Canada. Yeah, so a couple years ago, Canadian Open, I hit a good tee shot actually, but it just went into the first cut and unfortunately caught a big flier out of the first cut. Ended up making bogey.

That was a bad 60, a tough-to-take 60 because I didn't feel like I did a lot wrong. You don't often get a chance to shoot 59, so obviously when it happens you want to take it.

Q. You mentioned top 50 going into next year. Do you feel like there's a difference this year because of everything that's on the line and getting into the signature events?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I feel like this year -- normally top 30 is the big cutoff. There's a lot of rewards to top 30. That gets you in all the majors, all the big events. That's really where you want to be. That's still where you want to be.

Obviously that gives you the opportunity to go win the FedExCup, which is what it's all about, and obviously get in all the majors, as well, next year.

But I think 50 is a really significant number. It's been in my mind all year, just to make sure that you're playing a level where next year you can build a schedule that is to your liking and with no compromises.

50 has been a really important number I think for a lot of guys on TOUR this year.

Q. What were you thinking after your first tee shot today, and was it that shot, the approach on 1, that made you realize, oh, I've got something this round?

JUSTIN ROSE: The first hole was fortunate, to be fair. Hit it in the left rough. Hit it there the day before, had nothing. Had to chip out. Actually considered chip-out today, then last minute, I kind of looked up, and went, eh, maybe -- maybe I can get a wedge up over that tree. There was a smaller little limb to the right, and I thought, if I favor the right side, maybe I can get it up and around the green. Hit a good shot, obviously, but for it to go to a foot was a little bit of luck. That was just a nice...

I played the first two or three holes really badly this week on that side, so it was nice to get off to a stronger start today.

Q. Was there a moment during the round where you're like, I'm dialed in? Was there a shot, a hole?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I birdied the par-5, which I should. Hit two good shots in there. Birdied the par-3 off the back of that, and then I chipped in at No. 5 to go 4-under through 5, and I felt like, okay, my round is up and running there. Then actually felt like I could have birdied 6 and 7 and didn't.

Then sort of refocused because I actually could feel I was getting a little frustrated by not -- I knew something was on today. That's why I was getting a little frustrated there at 6 and 7. Did a good job birdieing 8 and 9, and played really strongly, I felt, all of the back nine, and when I did get into a little bit of trouble on 13 and 17, holed nice par putts.

For me it was a fun round, and there were just a few moments in that round where I was tested and came through that test.

Q. Maybe not so much this morning when you went out, but with the heat yesterday and the heat that's expected tomorrow, when you have to deal with this kind of stifling heat along with playing a tough golf course, how much mentally does that make it even harder when you're dealing with something outside of your control when the temperatures are that high?

JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I struggled yesterday. I haven't played in this heat. I was thinking about it, I haven't played in this heat since maybe Memphis last year.

All year I don't think I've had a hot day. U.S. Open was California. The previous -- maybe Fort Worth wasn't as hot this year as it can be. I literally haven't felt heat like that for a year, so I actually did struggle yesterday, and I was on the six-hole countdown. I was like, just to the ball, just get to the green, just get to the next ball. Literally six holes to go, I was like, okay, five left, four left, three -- it was a pretty tough day yesterday.

Hopefully the body is beginning to sort of remember it and get used to it, and tomorrow we'll be a bit more prepared for it.

Q. It might be a ridiculous question after Thursday, but is there a 59 out there tomorrow?

JUSTIN ROSE: I mean, I think there's always a 59 out there for sure. Everyone is so good that if you get a guy that's on, it's out there.

The golf course is soft. I think 59 is out of the equation when the golf course is firm, but the fact it's soft, that means it's on. But you've got to do everything right. You've got to put it in play off all of the tee boxes and obviously have everything go your way and make a lot of putts.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
135821-1-1002 2023-08-12 17:55:00 GMT

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