Rose blossoming into Ryder Cup stalwart
GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Justin Rose is blossoming into a leading man at the Ryder Cup and forged what could become an enduring partnership with former Florida neighbor Henrik Stenson at Gleneagles on Friday.
England's Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion, teamed up with Sweden's 2013 FedExCup playoff champion Stenson to register two points and help Europe into a 5-3 lead over the United States on the opening day.
"It's been really, really special," said Rose, who improved his stellar Ryder Cup record to eight wins and three losses after victories in the fourballs and foursomes with Stenson.
"Captain (Paul McGinley) put a lot of faith in me and Henrik this morning going out first, obviously kept us together and felt we were playing well," added the 34-year-old.
"I thought we were really good today and strong today in alternate-shot. Just a great day. Really enjoyed it."
Europe, who trailed 2 1/2-1 1/2 despite a 5 & 4 victory by Rose and Stenson over Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson in the morning, roared back in the alternate-shot format as Rose and Stenson added a two-up win over Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson.
The nomadic Stenson, a renowned ball-striker as is Rose who had carried a 2-3-2 record into his third Ryder Cup and first since 2008, was playing with his seventh different partner.
"He definitely is a keeper," joked world number five Stenson, who had not played with the same partner twice before his roaring success with Rose. "It was a great day.
"He's a solid player all around. He's got a sharp short game. He was putting really good today. Made some crucial putts and he was driving the ball nicely as well. Continued...