Impressive start for Rose

European Tour

Justin Rose could hardly have asked for a better start to the Masters than a five-under-par 67 in the first round.

Rose matched Charley Hoffman’s round to tie for the lead midway through a sweltering afternoon at Augusta National.

The former US Open champ made three birdies on the front nine, and then bounced back from a bogey at the 11th with three more birdies to end the day sitting pretty.

Rose was able to match his lowest round ever at the Masters, and said it was an up-and-down for par out of the bunker at the short fourth that really got him going.

Playing alongside defending champion Bubba Watson also helped motivate him on the day.

“I felt a good energy out there playing with the defending champion Bubba (Watson) and US amateur champion Gunn Yang too,” said the Englishman.

“I haven’t been in contention this year but the draw got the juices flowing, and I felt I was already in the tournament right from the first hole.

“The key shot for me today was probably the up and down on the fourth – the par three.

“I was in-between clubs, went with the shorter club, put it in the bunker, which is a tough up-and-down.

“That bunker shot really settled me down and made me feel I could really put a good score together.

“And sometimes the form doesn’t have to be there to believe you are playing well.”

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