Rose claims early advantage
Justin Rose hopes to turn his opening round 65 into a winning lead on day two of the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
Justin Rose hopes to turn his opening round 65 into a winning lead on day two of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Rose has played well at the tournament in the past and plans to turn his good form into a victory on Sunday after ending the opening round in a three-way tie for the lead.
The Englishman, who had to sit through a delay of two hours because of rain, saw his 65 matched by American Rickie Fowler and Australian Geoff Ogilvy.
Rose made six birdies over his closing 10 holes for a seven under par total as defending champion Tiger Woods struggled to a 72.
Rose was a runner-up to Kenny Perry two years ago and aims to record his first victory in America this weekend.
He said: “It’s a tournament that I feel like I should have won.
“I always feel comfortable when I do get here. I like all the tee shots, and the greens are so pure here that if you do get a putting stroke going, you’re going to make some putts.”
An 18-foot birdie on the second was the beginning of a run of five birdies in six holes that put Rose on top of the leaderboard where he was later joined by Fowler and Ogilvy.
Rose added: “I feel like I’ve been comfortable with my game for a number of weeks, and I’m not really trying to do anything different.”
Home player Phil Mickelson was in a five-way tie for fourth after shooting a bogey-free 67 and was pleased with the way the course played.
“The soft greens allow you to attack a lot of the pins,” said Mickelson.
“It played a lot longer because the ball wasn’t rolling. It was a very fun day and a lot of good scoring today.”
Sweden’s Carl Pettersson was in a tie for 15th after scoring a 69 which was two shots better than England’s Brian Davis.
Back in a tie for 50th after a 72 were Woods and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, along with Scotland’s Martin Laird.
The only good news for Woods was that a recent neck injury has eased up.
He explained: “My neck feels pretty good. Still not where I want it to be, but the inflammation has calmed down. I got range of motion again.
“It’s a little bit sore after a good hard day of practice, but I can recover for the next day, which is good. And get back at it, you know, repeated days in a row, which is what I haven’t been able to do consistently.
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