AUGUSTA, Ga. — The scoring received simpler, and Justin Rose received worse.
That’s typically how golf works.
For the Englishman who missed the previous 5 weeks, an opening-round 65 got here as a shock. His follow-up 72 allowed much more gamers to remain in competition by way of two rounds of the Masters. Rose overcame a shaky begin to play his final six holes in 3 below par and finish the day the place he began at 7 below par.
His whole of 137 was main Australia’s Marc Leishman and Jordan Spieth by 2 strokes, with Justin Thomas and Tony Finau one other stroke again.
“I did not fairly respect the scoring was going to be fairly so good right now,” Rose stated. “So once more, I felt just like the golf course was nonetheless pretty difficult the primary few holes. The primary six holes have been all the time fairly tough round right here.”
Rose made bogeys on the fourth and sixth, the place he three-putted after his first putt didn’t keep on prime of a ledge and rolled some 40 toes again to him. He additionally bogeyed the seventh to lose 3 photographs within the first seven holes. However he regrouped and made 5 straight pars earlier than birdies on the thirteenth, 14th and sixteenth.
“I believe it was only a basic day at Augusta Nationwide once you’re simply barely off,” Rose stated. “You is usually a foot or two out on sure events, and you find yourself struggling.
“I believe perhaps off the again of yesterday, it begins to really feel fairly totally different fairly rapidly. I type of instructed myself going up the eighth gap, you are main the Masters, your body of reference is a bit bit totally different to yesterday. 4 forward is one thing, however you are still main so like simply get pleasure from it and maintain going. I used to be ready to try this.”
Rose, 40, a 10-time PGA Tour winner (with 11 on the European Tour), together with the 2013 U.S. Open, has not gained in additional than two years. When he captured the 2019 Farmers Insurance coverage Open, he was ranked No. 1 on the planet. Since that point, he had simply 10 top-10 finishes and has dropped to forty first on the planet.
He has reunited with swing coach Sean Foley and began to see some success earlier this 12 months, solely to be knocked out by a again damage that noticed him withdraw throughout the closing spherical of the Arnold Palmer Invitational 5 weeks in the past. He didn’t compete on the Gamers Championship or the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play Championship and got here to Augusta Nationwide uncertain what to anticipate.
“I might have been barely stunned, however nothing does shock me right here within the sense of I do know that this place conjures up me,” Rose stated. “I really like being right here on the grounds. It is a golf course I understand how to play higher than another. For me to come back into any main championship with out taking part in for a month, it might be this one.”
Rose is a two-time runner-up on the Masters, together with 2017 when he misplaced a sudden-death playoff to Sergio Garcia. He has additionally been the first-round chief 4 occasions and in 2004 led after 36 holes solely to fade on the weekend.
“I’ve acknowledged good cases and heartbreak proper right here, too,” Rose stated. “I would by no means have put my arms within the inexperienced jacket, however I have been there in quite a lot of important cases to know what it is all about.”