Rose storms into contention at Quail Hollow

Fri May 2, 2014 8:08pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

CHARLOTTE North Carolina (Reuters) - Justin Rose's hopes of repeating as U.S. Open champion next month got a timely boost as he moved within a stroke of the lead in the Wells Fargo Championship second round on Friday.

The Englishman, who spent the first part of the year recovering from tendinitis in his right shoulder, had a chip-in eagle from 70 feet on his way to a five-under-par 67 on a cool morning at Quail Hollow.

"Obviously you can never win it on Thursday and Friday, you can only lose it, so two solid days put me in good position for the weekend," Rose, who will defend his U.S. Open title at nearby Pinehurst No. 2 next month, told reporters.

Rose was in third place at eight-under 136 at the halfway mark, while Argentina's Angel Cabrera (69) and American Martin Flores (68) set the pace at nine under.

"Those chip-in eagles, they get you going," Rose said, referring to his successful effort at the par-five 15th.

"I did everything well in spells today (and) finished with a nice putt for par at the last hole, which made the day feel incredibly positive."

World number 10 Rose has not won since notching his first major title at Merion last June, and is still playing his way back into form after being hampered by a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for the first six weeks this year.

"I've had a lot of stop-starts this year and I just felt like I needed to get toned and sharp, and that's beginning to show up," said Rose.   Continued...

May 1, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justin Rose tees off on the eleventh hole during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports