The Masters: Rose 'reset' after tough start to grab stunning lead

By Sports Desk April 08, 2021

Justin Rose "reset" after a tough start at the Masters before firing a stunning seven-under 65 to take the first-round lead on Thursday.

The Englishman produced his best ever round at Augusta, equalling the second largest first-round lead in Masters history with his four-stoke advantage.

Such a position looked unlikely for Rose when he bogeyed the seventh hole to be at two over.

But his response was incredible with an eagle at eight and birdie at nine, before six more birdies followed on the back nine.

Rose said the eagle at the eighth hole was what he needed to settle into the tournament.

"It maybe settled me down if I'm honest. I kind of knew two over through seven is not the end of the world, but also knew you're going in the wrong direction," he told a news conference.

"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.

"And I was very aware being a couple over through seven that things weren't – 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, you know, 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 number nine, suddenly I turned in one 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."

Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, said his putting was key to his incredible round.

"I putted the ball beautifully and read the greens unbelievably well. If you had said to me walking up the eighth hole, I'd have said no chance, this course is playing a little too tricky for that," he said.

"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."

Rose is four strokes clear of Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama.

Related items

  • Haye and Munn-Barrow lead heading into Monday's final day of JGA National Amateur Championships Haye and Munn-Barrow lead heading into Monday's final day of JGA National Amateur Championships

    Oshae Haye and Jodi Munn-Barrow headed into Monday’s final day the leaders of the three-day Jamaica Golf Association's National Amateur Golf Championship being played at the Sandals Golf & Country Club in St. Ann.

  • US PGA Championship: Mito Pereira says he felt the pressure during 18th-hole collapse US PGA Championship: Mito Pereira says he felt the pressure during 18th-hole collapse

    Mito Pereira said he felt the pressure during his painful collapse on the 18th hole, which cost him the US PGA Championship.

    The Chilean has never won on the PGA Tour, but after leading by three strokes heading into Sunday's play, he appeared poised to win 2022's second major when he stepped up to the 18th tee with a one-stroke lead. It could have been a two-stroke lead, but his birdie putt on the 17th came up just inches short.

    The 27-year-old sliced his tee shot on the 18th hole, the ball eventually bouncing into the small creek. A bogey would have seen him join the playoff but his approach to the green went long, and the ensuing chip also dribbled off the back of the putting surface, ending in a double-bogey.

    Speaking to the media as Will Zalatoris and eventual winner Justin Thomas competed in the three-hole playoff, Pereira said he was still proud of his efforts.

    "It's tough, you know, to finish like that," he said. "A really good week, but I didn't play really well today.

    "I just needed to do a couple more birdies, and hit it a little bit better to win.

    "I'm just happy with how the week turned out – on Monday I just wanted to make the cut, and on Sunday I wanted to win. I'll take this and learn for the future."

    When asked about his performance on the 18th, he called it "weird", admitting he did not consider the possibility of the water coming into play.

    "I was okay – it was weird," he said. 

    "[The drive] wasn't a good stroke, but I just wasn't thinking about the water. I thought it was weird that it went in [the water]. 

    "I guess when you have so much pressure on your body, maybe you don't even know what you're doing."

  • US PGA Championship: Two-time champion Justin Thomas breaks down 'very special' and 'bizarre' final round US PGA Championship: Two-time champion Justin Thomas breaks down 'very special' and 'bizarre' final round

    Justin Thomas gushed over how special it feels to finally be a two-time major champion after winning the US PGA Championship for the second time.

    Thomas first won it in 2017 at Quail Hollow, and has now repeated the feat five years later, this time at Southern Hills Country Club.

    He prevailed in a playoff against Will Zalatoris after outright leader Mito Pereira capitulated on the 18th hole, double-bogeying to finish one stroke behind the new leading pair at five under. Thomas had trailed Pereira by eight strokes coming into Sunday's play.

    Speaking to the media after stepping off the 18th green, Thomas had one specific shot in mind – and it was not one of his best, highlighting a pure shank off the tee on the sixth hole.

    "It was a bizarre day," he said. "I have definitely crossed one off the list – I have never won a tournament shanking a ball on Sunday, so that was the first, and I would really like it to be the last.

    "Bones [caddie Jim 'Bones' Mackay] did an unbelievable job of just keeping me in the moment and I just tried to play the golf course for what it is.

    "This place is so tough. It was funny – I was asked earlier in the week about what lead is safe and I said 'no lead' because this place is so tough. But if you hit the fairways you can make birdies, and I stayed so patient. 

    "I could not believe that I found myself in a play-off."

    Later when speaking to Sky Sports, Thomas reflected on just how difficult it is to win a major after some questioned if he would finish his career with just the one, and admitted he did not check the leaderboard all day.

    "It is very, very special," he said. "Anytime you win is obviously great, but getting it done different ways teaches you a lot. 

    "This golf course is tough. Winning tournaments is tough. Winning a major is tough.

    "I just tried to stay patient, and I felt when I somehow got myself in the play-off it was time to get after it and get it done.

    "I did not look at the leaderboard today – Bones did an unbelievable job of just keeping me in the moment. We were just out playing Southern Hills on a beautiful day, on a Sunday.

    "I could kind of feel through the energy in the crowd that I had a chance, and I know that all the players up ahead of me are great players, but had not won a major, and it is a big moment. 

    "I know I am very nervous, so I know they are very nervous, and I just tried to tell myself that all I can do is control what I can and if it's good enough, great, if not, so be it.

    "It is awesome. it is so nice to hear two-time [champion] instead of one-time."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.