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When you’re hot, you’re hot! And PGA Tour golfer Justin Rose had a flaming hot streak in the middle of his first round at the RBC Canadian Open.
Rose entered the week as one of the favorites to contend for the title at the national tournament of our north-of-the-border neighbors. It’s a relatively weak field, especially with the much more important US Open on tap next week.
But defending champion (technically back-to-back) Rory McIlroy is there to try and pick up a three-peat. He entered the tournament as a heavy favorite with other highly-ranked tour players Tyrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sam Burns and Cam Young behind him.
Rose came in as the sixth-favorite behind that group. And after an incredible stretch on the final four holes of his front nine, that appeared to be too low.
Rose made an early bogey on his second hole of the day (Par-3, 11th) before getting the shot back with a birdie on the par-4 13th. He made par on #14 before the run started.
After a wayward tee shot on #15, Rose’s approach shot just missed the green to the left. No matter, he simply just chipped it in to get to one-under.
Same story on #16. He hit his tee shot into the right rough and missed the green just left (and a little deep). He actually had a much tougher shot this time because his ball nestled right on the collar between the fringe and the rough.
No problem, though.
Justin Rose made a much more conventional birdie on 17. He drove the ball into the fairway, stuck and iron close and made the putt. Easy game sometimes.
But on 18, the chipping game got put right back on display. On the par-5, he drove it into the fairway, but missed the green well right after trying to get there in two. No issues, though, just another tidy wedge shot. This one nearly dropped for eagle, but came up just a few roles short for an easy tap-in birdie.
Rose actually got in tight after making the turn, too, but missed a 5-foot birdie putt. He did make birdie on two, though, meaning that missed five-foot putt kept him from six-straight birdies. All told, Rose made six birdies in eight holes to get to five-under.
Unfortunately for him, he made bogey on #5, failed to take advantage of the par-5 seventh (made par), and then followed with another bogey on #8.
Still, he finished with a solid round of three-under, 69. Nice. But not quite what it could have been.
Still, he’s well within contention heading into Friday’s second round.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak