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The Masters: Why Justin Rose needs to start weekend strongly to stay ahead at Augusta National


Paul McGinley

Golf Columnist

Justin Rose holds a one-shot advantage over Brian Harman and Will Zalatoris at the halfway stage of The Masters; Englishman battled to a level-par 72 on Friday to stay top of the leaderboard at Augusta National

Last Updated: 10/04/21 1:22am

Justin Rose holds a narrow advantage at the halfway stage of The Masters

Justin Rose holds a narrow advantage at the halfway stage of The Masters

Paul McGinley reflects on an impressive start for Justin Rose at The Masters and looks at what the Englishman will need to do over the weekend at Augusta National to challenge for a second major title.

Major championships are not easily won and players will always experience a lot of ups and downs, so the ability to ride out the storm when it comes is an important prerequisite when trying to win a major.

Rose has faced hurdles when it comes to winning big events in his career and he’ll be fully prepared for that this weekend. The key will be to get off to a better start than he did over the first two days, as there’s some big players starting to emerge in Justin’s rear-view mirror.

Justin Rose is a two-time runner-up at The Masters, finishing joint-second in 2015 and behind Sergio Garcia in 2017

Justin Rose is a two-time runner-up at The Masters, finishing joint-second in 2015 and behind Sergio Garcia in 2017

He’s now world No 41 and although it hasn’t been a fall-off-a-cliff drop in form by any stretch, it has been a steady decline. He halted that at the end of the year by reemploying Sean Foley again and going back to his old equipment, with his driver this week being the one he used in 2017.

We’ve slowly seen some progress early in the season in his game, with some green shoots in form and positive results. At Augusta, he’s coming back to a place and a golf course that he has a lot of form on and a lot of experience.

The Masters – Live

April 10, 2021, 7:00pm

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The last few weeks he has had a few issues with his back, withdrawing at Bay Hill and not featuring at The Players, but from what I understand it hasn’t been too serious and it was more cautionary than anything else.

A really poor start for Rose on Friday brought himself back in the pack, at a time where guys were coming forward in better scoring conditions. It was good to stabilize himself and go at it again, with Rose experiencing a bit of a seesaw first two days.

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Justin Rose was proud of his recovery after battling back from another slow start to salvage a second-round 72 and stay top of The Masters leaderboard

Justin Rose was proud of his recovery after battling back from another slow start to salvage a second-round 72 and stay top of The Masters leaderboard

Rose didn’t have the best first seven holes on Thursday and was out of the blocks slowly again for his second round. He responded brilliantly on both occasions, igniting after that start yesterday and then being able to steady himself on the back nine again on day two.

He got a springboard over so much of the field with his start on Thursday but gave a little bit of that during day two, so it’s important that he keeps pace with the guys coming from behind during the third round.

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April 10, 2021, 4:00pm

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We saw a huge shift in scoring conditions from Thursday to Friday, with the greens softened and more players posting lower numbers, so it’ll be interesting to see if that continues over the weekend.

Rose will want to pull himself three or four ahead of the likes Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and those big names you expect to come through, which will then set him up nicely for his experience to kick in on Sunday.

Watch The Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Masters channel. Full live coverage continues on Saturday from 8pm on Sky Sports The Masters, with bonus coverage before then available on the red button. Click here to upgrade to Sky Sports for just £10 a month.





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