AUGUSTA, Georgia — Justin Rose entered the eighty fifth Masters this week ranked No. 41 within the Official World Golf Ranking, his lowest rating coming into a event in a decade.
Rose, 40, hasn’t gained on the PGA Tour in additional than two years, and he has only one top-30 end in 5 worldwide begins this season, a tie for second on the Saudi International on the European Tour. He withdrew from his most up-to-date begin with a again harm after solely 4 holes on the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
Sure, Rose has a really robust observe document at Augusta National Golf Club, however what he did on the ultimate 11 holes in Thursday’s opening spherical was as sudden as Bryson DeChambeau hitting a fairway.
After falling to 2 over with a bogey on the seventh gap, Rose eagled the par-5 eighth after which had birdies on the ninth, tenth, twelfth, thirteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth holes, enjoying the ultimate 11 holes in 9 beneath. He completed with a 7-under 65.
Rose, who entered the event at 100-to-1 to win (his longest odds for the reason that 2011 PGA Championship), will carry a 4-shot lead over Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama into Friday’s second spherical. It’s the biggest first-round lead at any main for the reason that finish of World War II, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Information analysis.
“I form of knew 2 over via seven will not be the tip of the world, but additionally knew you are going within the mistaken route,” Rose mentioned. “You cannot win the golf event immediately. Even with a 65 you’ll be able to’t win it immediately. You can solely in all probability lose it immediately, clearly.”
The apparent query now: Can Rose maintain it for 54 extra holes? His personal private observe document and the Masters document e book counsel no. It would be the nineteenth time that Rose has held a first-round lead on the PGA Tour. He has solely two wins to indicate for it. In the earlier three occasions wherein Rose had a first-round lead, he completed tied for fifth, tied for twenty second and tied for thirty sixth.
It’s the third time Rose has held the outright first-round lead on the Masters, which ties him with Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth and Lloyd Mangrum for many of all time. In the earlier three situations wherein Rose had not less than a share of the first-round lead right here, in 2004, 2007 and 2008, he responded by capturing a mixed 25 over within the ultimate three rounds.
And it isn’t simply Rose who has buckled beneath the stress of Augusta National previously. He is the eleventh participant previously 50 Masters tournaments to carry a multistroke lead after the primary spherical. Only one in all them — Spieth in 2015 — went on to win a inexperienced jacket. Rose was a type of gamers who could not maintain a lead; he led by 2 strokes after the primary spherical in 2004 and completed tied for twenty second.
Big names with work to do
Augusta National’s agency, slick and windy circumstances induced many gamers hassle in Thursday’s opening spherical, together with some former champions, main winners and probably the most recognizable names within the sport.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson shot 2-over 74, together with four-time main winner Brooks Koepka. While neither participant is out of competition, needless to say every of the previous 15 Masters winners was beneath par after the opening spherical. According to analysis by ESPN Stats & Information, of the previous 30 Masters champions, solely three have been over par after 18 holes: José María Olazábal in 1994, Mark O’Meara in 1998 and most lately Tiger Woods in 2005.
The gamers who can have yeoman’s work to do on Friday simply to verify they’ve a spot on the weekend embrace Phil Mickelson (3 over), Matthew Wolff (4 over), Sergio Garcia (4 over), Rory McIlroy (4 over), DeChambeau (4 over), Jason Day (5 over), Lee Westwood (6 over) and Patrick Cantlay (7 over).
“I want to know how the ball flies off of downhill slopes into uphill greens, and conversely uphill slopes into downhill greens, and all the above,” DeChambeau mentioned.
“We simply cannot calculate and alter the numbers very properly, and the wind is fairly difficult out right here. The greens are bouncing fairly exhausting, and that is what occurred.”
Who are these guys?
There are three names close to the highest of the leaderboard that may not be so acquainted — Harman, Will Zalatoris and Christian Bezuidenhout.
Harman, who grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and performed on the University of Georgia, was one the final qualifiers for the Masters. He moved into the highest 50 two weeks in the past after tying for fifth on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He has performed persistently properly this season; he tied for third on the Players Championship.
It’s his third Masters look and first since 2018. After capturing a mixed 11 over in his first six rounds at Augusta National, he carded a 3-under 69 in every of the previous two. On Thursday, he was 3 beneath on the second 9, tied for second greatest within the subject.
“The earlier two instances I’ve performed it, I’ve definitely regarded ahead to it and perhaps ready an excessive amount of for it,” Harman mentioned. “I simply form of got here in right here, and I do know the course fairly properly. I’ve performed right here bunches of time. I find it irresistible round right here. It’s only a matter of getting my sport prepared.”
Zalatoris, 24, is a lock to win PGA Tour Rookie of the Year with 5 top-10s in 14 tour occasions this season, together with a tie for sixth on the U.S. Open. He has missed just one lower — all the best way again in October — and got here into his first Masters begin ranked fourth in photographs gained: tee-to-green (1.51) and twelfth in photographs gained: whole (1.54).
His opening-round 2-under 70 on the Masters was his first spherical beneath par in a serious. He did not have a spherical beneath par within the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
“Well, I imply, 17 months in the past I used to be 2,000-plus on the earth [rankings], however on the identical time my aim is not to make a WGC occasion or a Masters or the Players,” Zalatoris mentioned. “It’s clearly to win these sometime. So it isn’t the be-all, end-all, however I missed Korn Ferry Q-school two years in the past and mainly was sitting down with my coaches not even two years in the past speaking about enjoying mini-tour stuff.”
Bezuidenhout, from South Africa, is ranked No. 35 on the earth, after successful the Alfred Dunhill Championship and South African Open on the European Tour in 2020. He tied for seventh on the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, his lone top-10 in six tour begins this season.
He shot 2-under 70, after hitting 13 of 14 fairways, which was tied for the perfect within the subject.
He completed tied for thirty eighth on the Masters in November.
When Bezuidenhout was solely 2, he unintentionally drank rat poison whereas at a park. Doctors saved his life, however he suffered extreme nervous system and speech points. He now speaks with a stutter.