Pre-tournament favourite Justin Rose makes fine start at Betfred British Masters

Former champion Justin Rose justified his place as pre-tournament favourite with an excellent opening spherical within the Betfred British Masters.

The world quantity 31, the top-ranked participant within the discipline, carded eight birdies and a solitary bogey to file a seven-under-par 65 at The Belfry.

That gave Rose a one-shot lead over former Ryder Cup team-mate Jamie Donaldson, who birdied 5 of the final six holes in his 66, with Germany’s Yannik Paul and English beginner John Gough two photographs additional again.

“I felt very comfy with my recreation from the primary shot,” stated Rose, who received the British Masters in 2002 and hosted the occasion in 2018.

“I hit an exquisite little wedge into the tenth gap, made a pleasant birdie there and I believe that’s the cleanest spherical of golf I’ve performed in a protracted, very long time.

“I actually drove the ball effectively, the irons have been being struck fairly cleanly and I really hadn’t made many putts by the entrance 9 to be 4 underneath so it was nice to handle to make just a few coming in.

“All of it amounted to an excellent day’s work.”

Requested about being a short-priced favourite to win the £2.7million occasion, Rose added: “I haven’t actually paid any consideration to that, though I performed with the Betfred lads [in the pro-am] and so they have been telling me in regards to the pricing of the sector.

“It’s clearly considerably of a praise however it doesn’t imply something, does it? You must go and play effectively.

“High quality gamers, in the event that they play effectively, they’ll be arduous to beat, however the arduous half is taking part in effectively. Clearly I’ve performed step one, obtained off to a great start, however obtained a protracted approach to go this week.

“Coming off a missed reduce at the US Open and per week off with out an excessive amount of follow, the start a part of this week was necessary for me to get tuned again in to my feels and it’s good to get off to a great, constructive start.”

Donaldson, who sealed the profitable level at Gleneagles in 2014, was only one underneath par after 12 holes of his spherical earlier than selecting up photographs on the thirteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and 18th.

“Nothing was stepping into, it was all a bit gradual at the start and all of a sudden all of it kicked in on the again 9,” the 47-year-old Welshman stated. “5 in six holes to complete, so yeah, implausible.

“I used to be simply attempting to be affected person. There have been a whole lot of downwind holes in direction of the tip there, so it made it simpler to have birdie probabilities and hit just a few good photographs.”

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