Leader Rose digs deep to spark second-round recovery
Despite seeing his lead reduced to just one solitary shot, Justin Rose felt he grew during a mixed second round at the Masters.
Justin Rose felt having a few words with himself and taking a match-play approach was the turning point as he recovered from a poor start to regain the Masters lead on Friday. Rose started his second round with a four-shot advantage courtesy of a sublime seven-under 65 at Augusta on Thursday. The Englishman remained on seven under at the end of his second round following a level-par 72, leading Masters debutant Will Zalatoris and Brian Harman by just a solitary stroke.
Rose bogeyed four of his first seven holes on Friday, but three birdies on the back nine returned the former world number to the top of the leaderboard in his pursuit of a first green jacket. The 2013 US Open champion was content after turning the tide and revealed he gave himself a talking to on the eighth following a shaky start.
He said: "I had a little talk with myself on eight and said 'you're still leading the Masters', and I just changed my mindset a little bit and started to play match play against the golf course. I scratched a line on my scorecard and told myself I was three down and could I go ahead and beat the golf course from that point on. I had a putt on 18 to win my match one-up, but unfortunately it just slipped by. But an honourable draw."
He added: "I felt like the turning point for me, a good two-putt on number nine just to stop the rot and just to feel like could then just walk onto the back nine and try to build something fresh and something new. I actually started to play pretty well from that point onwards."
Speith and Leishman -5
Birdies proved to be easier to come by for the field than during the first round, with Jordan Spieth and Marc Leishman among those to make strides as they moved into a share of fourth on five under.
Despite seeing his lead reduced, Rose - who has been troubled by a back injury this year - believes he "grew" during a mixed day. He said: "I think it was a worthwhile day for me. And not having played for a month, and to suddenly find yourself in the situation I was yesterday, I'm not kind of brimming with confidence right now in that sense, so today was always going to be a challenging day. I felt like in the end, I felt like I grew a little bit from today, which is good."
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