Rose draws on Seve magic with opening 67 at Augusta

Thu Apr 9, 2015 4:09pm EDT
 
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By Andrew Both

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Justin Rose conjured up a round that would have made his boyhood idol Seve Ballesteros proud and earned a share of the first round clubhouse lead at the Masters on Thursday.

On a day when the two-time Masters champion from Spain would have turned 58, Rose emerged from a mini slump to card a five-under-par 67 at Augusta National.

Ballesteros, who inspired a generation of European golfers, died in 2011 of a brain tumor.

Englishman Rose, 34, recalled the encouragement he received from Ballesteros during his Masters debut in 2003.

"I remember Seve coming up to me and putting his arm around me, just giving me an encouraging couple minutes of pep talk,” Rose told reporters. "He was always very good to me out on tour (and) sort of a hero of mine growing up."

Rose arrived in Augusta seemingly out-of-form, but he warned not to read too much into his recent disappointing results.

"I'm a major champion and won great tournaments. I knew my game was there; it just had not shown up yet," said the 2013 U.S. Open champion, who has never missed a cut in nine Masters appearances.

"I didn't have a ton of form but it doesn’t surprise me.   Continued...

 
Justin Rose of Britain hits a driver off the second tee during first round play of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 9, 2015.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch