By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
FARMINGDALE N.Y. -- Thursday's bogey-free 67 "delighted" Justin Rose.
The birdie putts of 5, 16, 8 and 7 feet – and 25 total strokes with the flat stick overall -- were definitely something to build on. At the same time, though, so was that 15-footer for par that he holed at the 11th hole.
What made it so crucial was that Rose had just birdied the 10th hole to get to 2 under for the day. But he "butchered" his way up the 11th, finding the waste area on the right off the tee and a greenside bunker to the left of the green, so he needed that par-saver something fierce.
"So that just really kept the round going," Rose said. "I would say that 15-footer was the key to the round."
Rose said he was "blown away" by how good the scoring was overall in the afternoon because he thought Bethpage State Park’s Black Course was playing "pretty tough out there." The scoring average for the morning wave was 70.48 while the afternoon was 72.04.
"I think a lot of flag placements were on the front edge of the
green, and I think the greens were soft this morning and maybe guys
could get at those pins, but this afternoon I thought it proved
really tough to get it going low,' Fowler said. "
"But for me the key to the round was bogey-free. I ground it out really hard out there today and was a really good short game day, scrambled nicely and had 25 putts, which for me was a big turnaround. Been working hard at the putting. Good start, nice to get off to a good day."
The Englishman also enjoyed the New York fans.
"You have to sometimes just smile at it," Rose said. "There's some great comments out there. But it really is good fun to play. Good energy, and I think it's only going to get more intense as the weekend goes on."