Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Justin Rose Press Conference
BRIONY CARLYON: Delighted to be joined by Justin Rose here at the Alfred dunhill links championship. Justin, we were just discussing the last time you were here was 2008 but do you have any memories of back then when you were playing in this unique tournament?
JUSTIN ROSE: Just good memory, really. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Amazing how time flies but I’m excited, maybe the little shift in the schedule and what have you, and obviously with Wentworth being a little later in the year, FedExCup and all that stuff, feels like it’s a really nice time of year to play here again.
I’m excited to be back.
Q. For once you’re not the most popular Justin on the golf course. Can you tell us about your partners?
JUSTIN ROSE: Right, here we go. It’s cool to be playing with Justin Timberlake. Obviously I’m quite happy to be another Justin on the golf course — that’s probably always the case, anyway, Justin Thomas and the young kids around. I’m kind of used to it these days. It’s fun to be playing with him. We’ve done the AT&T a couple times together and floated the idea of doing this one a couple years ago. He’s touring but obviously there’s going to be a time — it worked for both of us that this was the year to come do it. Having a brilliant time.
He got into town Saturday. He’s played a few practice rounds and really enjoyed it. Done the team building, the team bonding and now we’re going to do the team scoring tomorrow, so excited to get out there.
Q. How do you fancy his chances this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: I’m not sure with two shots anyone fancies their chances. I teed off with him yesterday early and I cruised out on the sixth hole and played in, but he continued his round. Obviously there’s a pretty good advantage in some of the tee boxes. He drove one of the greens early in the round. You know, with the right wind and the right time, he should be able to make a few birdies. The thing about Justin is that he’s always so competitive, as well. He’s in entertainment. Typically when his shot comes around, he tends to bring his best stuff, which is quite effective.
Q. In terms of last week, the functions last week, and this is quite a stacked schedule between now and Dubai, where you sit in The Race to Dubai, how do you feel?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, last week was an opportunity. I actually played really well last week. I’m more excited about last week from what it represented in the actual result in the end. I had an opportunity on Sunday to score much better than I did.
I liked what I saw in my game. Drove my ball much better than I have been and felt like I was pretty effective tee-to-green, which was great. Something I can build on this week. But an opportunity for me to make some inroads into The Race to Dubai. Got some big events coming up now, feel like every event is a big event. This week and the Italian Open and then China and Turkey and Dubai and things like that. I’m going to have to play great. I’m going to have to win three of them just to have a chance. It’s very much the situation I put myself in in 2017, I guess it was, where I had to win pretty much my last three events, and I came close.
That’s a good thing. If you get on a run, it’s possible. That’s the plan, anyway.
Q. Just wondering, in terms of this event, the golf course –
JUSTIN ROSE: It’s unique. It’s a fun part of the week. It’s something that I embrace. I think, also, in terms of preparation for this week, it’s impossible to play three practice rounds, three 18-hole practice rounds and still have enough energy, I suppose to compete in tournaments.
So for me, the first few days, enjoying the at Motorsport Classics fear of St. Andrews. Played nine holes yesterday. Went to Kingsbarns yesterday to refresh my memory a little bit. Played Carnoustie relatively recently in The Open. That’s the one it’s almost nicer — because the rough is not quite as thick as it is during The Open. I don’t know Kingsbarns as well. It’s a course you have to score well to win this tournament. My caddie, Lordy, is walking, so that’s one where we are going to have to in realtime figure out a way around it.
Q. Golf is individual game as we all know. How do you with your mind-set play with somebody else?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think you answered the question. You’ve got to switch on and off and you’ve got to enjoy and you’ve got to embrace the fun of this Rev #1 by #167 at 2019-09-25 15:17:00 GMT page 1 of 2 week. You know, I think that’s the beauty of these tournaments. It’s not how we’d like to play our golf every single week. Two times a year, if you play Pebble Beach or here, it’s a really fun format and I think you get out of it what you put into it. So if you go into it with a good attitude, have a conversation off the ball, I think that helps.
Now, pace of play, a lot of guys, six-hour rounds — I never really felt that’s unenjoyable. I’m out with the guys to have a good day’s golf and chat. Just because you have to wait five minutes to hit a shot occasionally that it should be a miserable experience. You’re out there with a good group of guys and we’re here to have fun, as well as compete hard. I think to compete you have to embrace that and have a lot of fun along the way.
Q. Which of these three courses provides the biggest challenge?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, I think Carnoustie everyone would say. That’s the one that has the least room off the tee. It’s the most well bunkered and the one you have to play the most conventionally. St. Andrews, you can always bail out to the left. Kingsbarns is quite wide. There’s opportunity to miss a shot there and get away with it. I think for me Carnoustie, given the weather tomorrow, I’ve always said if there’s one bad weather day, you want to get Carnoustie. Tomorrow is a little dicey.