Justin Rose jokes ‘smoke and mirrors’ behind second-round 70 at testing Oak Hill

By Sports Desk May 19, 2023

Justin Rose admitted his second round of 70 was not quite what it seemed as he remained in contention to double his major tally in the 105th US PGA Championship.

Rose shot level par on Friday to post a halfway total of one under par, despite hitting only two fairways in regulation at a fiendishly difficult Oak Hill.

“Smoke and mirrors I guess,” the former Olympic champion said with a smile when asked how he had pulled it off.

“I had a few fair lies in the rough, to be honest. When I did catch a bad lie I took my medicine and pitched out and tried to avoid the big number. I felt like making a bogey or two around here is no big deal.

“The fact that I made 10 birdies [in two rounds] is remarkable considering how I’ve put the ball in play off the tee.

“Iron play I felt was pretty good and obviously I have made some really nice mid-range putts. There’s definitely been some highlights in the game the last couple of days.

“Lots to look forward to and to have kind of going into the weekend, but kind of nice to know that I can maybe try and tighten a few things up as well.”

Rose won the 2013 US Open at Merion with a total of one over par and is relishing another tough challenge over the weekend.

“I think historically I’ve won typically on harder golf courses than not, so I think it fits my profile from that point of view,” he added.

“This is right up there. This feels a little bit of a hybrid kind of PGA/US Open this week. I’m looking forward to the test, I think.

“I thought four under par would be the winning score before the tournament started. It’s very hard to hit the ball in the fairway right now. The fairways are so firm that that’s what’s kind of making them so hard to hit.”

Related items

  • US Open: Leader Aberg trying to stay 'disciplined and patient' US Open: Leader Aberg trying to stay 'disciplined and patient'

    Ludvig Aberg emphasised the importance of staying "disciplined and patient" after he took the sole lead of the US Open on Friday.

    Aberg heads into the weekend with a one-shot advantage after carding a one-under 69, backing up an impressive 66 in his first round to leave him five under par at the top of the standings.

    It leaves Aberg in a great position to become the second US Open debutant to win the tournament and the first since Francis Ouimet in 1913.

    To achieve that, though, Aberg says he must remain calm, telling Sky Sports: "It's hard, but it's not supposed to be easy.

    "It's what we expect coming into a US Open, even though it's my first one.

    "I've had a lot of good discussions with my caddie Joe about course management and about trying to stay disciplined and patient.

    "It's not easy, but I feel like we've done a great job of that so far."

    Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy held the joint lead heading into day two after both carding five-under 65s on Thursday.

    However, McIlroy shot a disappointing 72 for his second round, while Cantlay's 71 leaves him as one of three players one shot behind Aberg, alongside Bryson DeChambeau and Thomas Detry.

    The soaring temperatures have proved testing conditions for players and are expected to continue over the rest of the tournament.

    Cantlay is predicting a difficult final two rounds, though he also said he was happy with the position he is in.

    "I think this golf course is going to play very challenging over the weekend, especially with the forecast that we have," Cantlay told reporters.

    "So I think being smart and being patient, it's inevitable there's going to be some mistakes made, but that's just part of playing a US Open."

  • US Open: Woods 'may or may not' have played last US Open after missing cut US Open: Woods 'may or may not' have played last US Open after missing cut

    Tiger Woods hinted that he may have played his final US Open after failing to make the cut on Friday.

    Woods shot three over in his second round having carded a four-over 74 on Thursday to leave him at seven over par, two shots off the cut line.

    It means Woods has now either failed to make the cut or withdrawn from six of his last nine major tournaments, and at 48-years-old and having faced a host of injury problems, it appears the 15-time major champion's glittering career is nearing its conclusion.

    After Friday's disappointing exit from the major he has won three times previously, Woods insinuated that it may well have been the last time he plays in the US Open.

    Woods told reporters: "In order to win a golf tournament, you have to make the cut. I can't win the tournament from where I'm at, so it certainly is frustrating. 

    "I thought I played well enough to be up there in contention. It just didn't work out.

    "As far as my last Open Championship or US Open Championship, I don't know what that is. It may or may not be.

    "I've only got one more tournament this season. Even if I win the British Open, I don't think I'll be in the [FedEx Cup] playoffs. [There is] just one more event and then I'll come back whenever I come back."

  • US Open: McIlroy in 'great position' in congested leaderboard with Woods to miss cut US Open: McIlroy in 'great position' in congested leaderboard with Woods to miss cut

    Rory McIlroy believes he is in a "great position" as he sits within touching distance of the leaders after two rounds at the US Open, while Tiger Woods is set to miss the cut after a disappointing second round. 

    McIlroy ended Friday's action at three-under, keeping himself in contention behind Ludvig Aberg, Matthieu Pavon, Patrick Cantlay and a host of other big names.

    McIlroy, the 2011 champion, was among the early starters and bogeyed two of his first six holes to fall from the lead after starting on the 10th tee.

    However, he steadied the ship on the back nine and the leaderboard might have looked rosier had he not bogeyed his last hole of the day, the par-three ninth, having found the bunker.

    "I was not quite as good with the putter [compared to round one] but still, overall in a great position going into the weekend," McIlroy said to Sky Sports.

    "Some of the hole locations were definitely a little tougher and you sort of had to have your wits about you. I did a pretty good job at keeping some of the mistakes off the scorecard.

    "I wish I had converted a couple more of the chances. I hit the ball pretty well and think I only missed one fairway, so I had plenty of opportunities.

    "I was two over pretty early. My goal going into that second nine was if I could get it back to even for the day, I would have been pretty happy. 

    "Got that birdie on three, I was trying to claw one back there, then ultimately I gave one back again [on nine].

    "With the way the golf course is and the way some of those hole locations are, I don't see anyone running away with it."

    Aberg, Pavon and Cantlay were among the leaders as Friday's action drew to a close, with Bryson DeChambeau one shot ahead of McIlroy, alongside Thomas Detry.

    DeChambeau had a typically eventful round by mixing four bogeys with five birdies, the last of which saw him finish with a flourish on the 18th.

    Detry made a splash as he carded an impressive 67. At one stage, the Belgian held the lead after reaching six-under for the day through 14 holes, though he slipped back slightly with two bogeys in his last four. 

    Hideki Matsuyama went one better than Detry with a four-under 66 at Pinehurst No.2 to ensure he sits in the top 10 heading into the weekend, one shot behind McIlroy.

    Meanwhile, Woods followed up his opening round of 74 with a second round of 73, putting him on course to miss the cut at seven-over.

    One of the shots of the day saw Francesco Molinari avoid the same fate, though, as he sank a hole-in-one on the 18th when he required an eagle to make the weekend.

    PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele is at one-under after posting a 69, but it was a tougher day for world number one Scottie Sheffler, who faces an anxious wait to see whether he made the cut after ending Friday five-over. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.