Early flowering Rose must keep blooming
Britain's Justin Rose grabbed a share of Thursday's first round lead for the third time at the U.S. Masters and hopes it will finally end with a green jacket.
Rose, who has been a one-round wonder at the Augusta National Golf Club, got the year's first major off to another dazzling start, offsetting two early bogeys with six birdies to sign for a four-under 68.
"I seem to (hit) the home run early," said Rose, sitting alongside South Africa's Trevor Immelman at the top of the leaderboard. "I've gone out there today with a really relaxed frame of mind and that's obviously what I've got to recreate the rest of the week.
"I've gone out there without putting pressure on myself and I've gone out there relaxed, positive and it paid off for me.
"The trick is you sit there now, top of the leaderboard up there and hopefully that's what I've learned the last few years is that there's 54 holes left and you've got to stay in the moment right until the back nine (on) Sunday."
Rose, still chasing his first top 10 result this season, has now ended the first day at the Masters on top of the leaderboard three times in four appearances at Augusta.
Despite those promising starts, he has never been able to seal victory, with his best result a tie for fifth last year.
"I don't know exactly," shrugged Rose, when asked why he has flourished in the opening round at the Masters. "I obviously work hard before it, get myself up for it.
"I think the early part of the year you set your schedule up well around it, peaking for this event and I feel that I was kind of doing that.
"I think it was a matter of I knew my game was getting close and the extra atmosphere and adrenaline and nerves, that sort of brought out the best in me."
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April 10, 2008