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Stunning 65 puts Rose in front

On fire! Justin Rose birdied five of the last seven holes to card his best ever at the Masters.   | Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox

Justin Rose humbled a firm and fast Augusta National layout that wreaked havoc upon many of the world's top golfers, seizing a four-stroke lead on Thursday at the 85th Masters.

Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, birdied five of the last seven holes in shooting a seven-under 65, his career-low score by two strokes in 59 Masters rounds.

The 40-year-old Englishman defied a lightning-fast layout that baffled his rivals by going nine-under over the last 11 holes, the best such Masters closing run by any golfer since 2004.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and American Brian Harman shared second on 69. Neither has ever won a Major — or any US PGA Tour event since 2017.

Only 12 players finished under par as mistakes were magnified around the hard-baked greens with winds adding to the intense challenge.

Top-ranked defending champion Dustin Johnson, trying to become only the fourth back-to-back winner, lipped out a two-foot putt at 18 to close with a double bogey and shoot 74.

Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, seeking a victory to complete a career Grand Slam, was off to his worst Masters start with a 76.

England's Tommy Fleetwood aced the 170-yard par-3 16th hole, the 32nd hole-in-one in Masters history, and shot 74.

Top scores:

65: Justin Rose; 69: Brian Harman, Hideki Matsuyama; 70: Will Zalatoris, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed; 71: Kim Si-woo, Jason Kokrak, Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 5:34:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/stunning-65-puts-rose-in-front/article34285232.ece

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