Rose plays his own tune at AT&T
Justin Rose and Justin Timberlake shoot 6 under at difficult Spyglass Hill
February 11, 2016
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
- Rose plays a shot from the fairway on the 17th hole during the first round at Spyglass Hill. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Justin Rose wasn’t the most popular Justin at Spyglass Hill on Thursday. Fortunately, he was the most productive one.
Rose, seeing the course for the first time, shot 6-under 66 in the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He wasn’t the first-round leader – Chez Reavie shot 8 under at Monterey Peninsula – but given that Spyglass Hill is traditionally considered the most difficult of the three courses in use this week, Rose (along with J.B. Holmes, who also shot a 66 at Spyglass) may be in the best shape.
“Didn’t really know what to expect,” said Rose, the Englishman who’s playing this tournament for the first time in his career after making some adjustments to his playing schedule. “But I’m very happy to have that score under my belt. Hope I can build on that the rest of the week.”
What Rose did expect, however, was to play second-fiddle to his amateur partner, Justin Timberlake, in terms of crowd appeal. Rose figured the ratio was about 10:1 in Timberlake’s favor. At one point near the end of their round, he noticed the gallery scurrying to the 18th tee.
“Never seen a demographic like that on a golf course,” Rose said. “ … Everyone was under 21 and 80 percent female.”
How the Justin-Justin combo got together was no mere happenstance. The two first met when Rose introduced himself at Lake Nona in Orlando. They kept in touch and played a few rounds together; Timberlake can generally hold his own as a 2 handicap, although he didn’t contribute to their team score Thursday.
When Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champ, decided to add this event to his schedule, the pairing was on. While the two can enjoy a round of golf together, there are no plans to enter Timberlake’s world and share a song.
“I’m totally tone deaf,” Rose said. “Even in the shower, I’m awful.”
World No. 1 Jordan Spieth didn’t get the most out of his round. The problem was due to his normally reliable short game.
Spieth said he was not dialed in with his wedges. He settled for par on three of the par 5s because his chip shots did not put him in position for easy birdie opportunities. Then he failed to bogey the 115-yard, par-3 third.
His 1-under 71 means he’ll need to make up some ground the next two days. He’ll play Monterey Peninsula on Friday.
“I’ve got a lot of very easy golf holes coming in the next couple of days if I put myself in positions off the tees,” Spieth said. “I’ll certainly get better when it comes to the wedge play.”
PHIL’S DRIVER CHANGE
Four-time AT&T Pebble Beach champ Phil Mickelson said he’s been driving the ball well – except last week at TPC Scottsdale, when he didn’t the roll-out he was expecting. So he decided to some adjustments with his driver.
It was, from his own perspective, a mistake.
Mickelson shot a respectable 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill, but it wasn’t fueled by his driver. His performance prompted him a term that he’s used before about some of his decisions.
“Like an idiot, I switched drivers,” Mickelson said.
Using the Callaway XR driver with weight ports, Mickelson said he moved the center of gravity forward, and as a result, he hit “some shots I didn’t care for.”
On Friday, he’ll play Monterey Peninsula – with his previous driver.
THE COMEBACK CONTINUES
Two years ago, Chez Reavie missed nearly the entire PGA TOUR season due to wrist surgery. Last year, playing on a major medical exemption, he finished 166th in the FedExCup and had to return to the Web.com Tour Finals. That’s when things started to brighten.
He played well, winning the Finals' second event and contending for the Web.com Tour Championship, finishing second. With full status back, he’s now ready to take the next step and start contending for his second TOUR title.
So far, so good after Thursday’s first round. Reavie shot a 8-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula to take a one-shot lead over the trio of Cameron Smith, Freddie Jacobson and Bronson Burgoon. It’s the first time he’s led after any round at a TOUR event since the 2011 John Deere Classic.
Reavie said he was always hopeful he could return and contend on TOUR, although he acknowledged “there’s always that little cloud” that made him wonder what he would be like once he finished rehabbing from surgery.
It doesn’t appear he needs to wonder any more.
“My ball striking seems to be pretty consistent,” Reavie said, “so if I can get that putter hot, I can make a lot more birdies.”
ROUND 1 SCORING AVERAGES
Course Front 9 Back 9
Total Pebble Beach 35.712 36.346 72.058 Spyglass Hill 36.442 35.442 71.885 Monterey Peninsula 34.058 35.269 69.327
QUOTE OF THE DAYI have a few buddies that have me on their fantasy golf team. They have been getting on me every week because I haven’t been doing anything. So hopefully they picked me again.”
CALL OF THE DAY
Freddie Jacobson pours in third straight birdie at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Free play-by-play coverage of the second round streams from 12-6 p.m. ET Friday on PGATOUR.COM.