Justin Rose recovered from a poor start to claim a slender halfway lead in the 85th Masters as defending champion Dustin Johnson made an early exit at Augusta National. Rose was four shots clear following a brilliant 65 on a tough opening day when just two other players broke 70, but saw that advantage wiped out after covering his first 12 holes in three over. Three birdies in the next four holes took Rose back out in front and a second round of 72 kept the 2013 US Open champion in pole position in pursuit of a second major title.
JUSTIN ROSE: The first six holes were always quite difficult around here. Obviously, you know, you get your birdie opportunity on number two.
Today, with the pin on number three, that was an obvious birdie opportunity as well.
But other than that, the first six holes were pretty tough. And I always feel like if you can be even par, than great. Obviously. I wasn't. I got to be a couple over today.
You know, loose tee shot number one, had to chip it out sideways. And actually made a great two-putt from the back right of the green today to save double I suppose, almost, at that point.
And then, you know, number six, a couple feet from being pretty good, but ended up having to two-putt from 60 feet at the bottom for another bogey.
So I think it was just a classic day at Augusta National, when you're just slightly off, you can be a foot or two out on certain occasions, and you end up struggling.
And I think maybe off the back of yesterday, it starts to feel pretty different pretty quickly. But again, I kind of told myself going up the eighth hole, hey, you're leading the Masters. You know, your frame of reference is a little bit different to yesterday. Four ahead is something, but you're still leading, so like, just enjoy it and keep going.