Rose blooms with 65 on day one at Augusta

by | Apr 9, 2021 | 0 comments

Justin Rose speaks with the media during the 2021 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday, April 8, 2021.

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Justin Rose will take a commanding four-shot lead into the second day of the 85th Masters tournament after a remarkable seven-under par 65 at Augusta on Thursday.

The Englishman, who was two-over par through seven holes, burst into life with an eagle at the eighth before a birdie at nine was followed by six more in a homeward half of 30.

“Yeah, it maybe settled me down if I’m honest,” Rose said of his timely ‘3’ at the second par-5 on the golf course. “I knew 2-over through 7 is not the end of the world, but also knew you’re going in the wrong direction. You can’t win the golf tournament today. Even with a 65 you can’t win it today. You can only probably lose it today, obviously. I didn’t hit the panic button yet, but I reset just prior to that and thought, ‘if I can get myself back around even par, that would be a good day’s work’.

“So obviously the eagle, boom, straight back in there, and I guess almost just piggybacking with a birdie straightaway at No. 9, suddenly I turned in 1-under, and I could feel like I could actually leave the front nine behind as a job well done and kind of move to the back nine and try and build a score.

“From that point on I kind of was aware that the lead was only three, and if I played a decent back nine it was basically a very good day’s work. And then I just got on a great run and was just trying to stay out of my own way and just try to get it to the clubhouse and keep doing what I was doing.

“I putted the ball beautifully and read the greens unbelievably well. If you had said to me walking up the 8th hole, I’d have said no chance, this course is playing a little too tricky for that. But it’s incredible. It’s a good reminder that you just never know what can happen out there, just to stick with it on the golf course.”

It was Rose’s career-best Masters round and a testament to the work he’s been putting in with swing-coach, Sean Foley, from whom he split last year as results went awry. Happily reunited, Rose explained how the pair had finally landed on a direction in which both coach and player could get behind of late and the proof is in the pudding of a superb 65 to lead the Masters into Friday.

“We’ve been putting in a good bit of work the last couple weeks, and I feel like we’ve fallen upon some clarity in the direction I want to go with my swing,” Rose said. “And he literally said to me, ‘Buddy, I don’t know if you’re close or not, but I just know it’s better’.

“And that’s what we came in here with. Obviously I haven’t played competitive golf for a month or so, so I never quite knew what was going to happen exactly. But I was very anxious for the gun to go off today, and practice was practice and I felt like I was labouring through my practice rounds a little bit and ready to get out there and have the scorecard in my hand.

“But yeah, listen, what Sean and I are working on, it’s very simple, it’s about keeping the face as square to the path for longer. Sometimes when I get my body out of position, my club-face gets a little too active through impact. And we’re just working on a couple principles that kind of help leads towards more solid, more consistent ball flight. Pretty simple, but doing it is obviously the tricky part.”

So far, so good, Justin.

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