Justin Rose delivers with outstanding first round at 2021 Masters
April 9, 2021
For the fourth time in his career, Justin Rose has the first-round lead at the Masters. However, even though the reigning Olympic gold medalist is seven-under-par and has a four-stroke lead on Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and American Brian Harman, Rose is still looking to win his first green jacket of his golf career.
On Thursday, the 40-year old Englishman had a round at Augusta to remember. After a relatively slow start where he bogeyed the first and seventh holes to go to +2, Rose was sensational over the last 11 holes, as he went nine-under-par.
The most notable hole was the par-five-eighth, where Rose recorded an eagle to get back to even par. After that, he put together a string of birdies on the ninth, 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th, and 17th holes to move from even-par to seven-under.
However, one must realize that Rose has been in this position at the Masters before, and it has not worked out. In 2004, Rose led the Masters as he had an opening-round score of -5, but finished tied for 22nd. In 2007, Rose and American Brett Wetterich were at three-under-par and in the lead after round one, but finished in fifth and three strokes back of American Zach Johnson. Then in 2008, Rose was tied with Trevor Immelman of South Africa at -4, but struggled thereafter and finished the tournament 15 strokes back of Immelman, who won the only major of his career.
In each of those prior circumstances, Rose never had a four-stroke lead after 18 holes. In fact, since 1955, Rose and Charley Hoffman of the United States are the only two golfers to have had a lead by four after the first round. Hoffman accomplished the feat in 2017, but like Rose in 2004, finished in 22nd place.
The shot of the day belonged to another Englishman in Tommy Fleetwood. On the par-three 16th, Fleetwood had the 32nd ace in Masters history. He finished his round at +2, and nine strokes back of Rose. Another golfer at +2 is 2020 champion Dustin Johnson.
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