Justin Rose needed only 25 putts in his first round at The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard on Thursday morning. Rose started his tournament on the back nine with Tiger Woods, and Ernie Els, on what turned out to be a chilly morning at Bay Hill Golf and Resort in Central Florida, and shot a -7 under par 65 to take the early lead. At one point Rose was 17 for 17 on every putt within 15 feet. He was getting good reads from Tiger who often putted first.
A year ago, Justin was 128th in putting, and today, he is 127th. Justin Rose has always had a very tight, clean golf swing, and plays technically sound from tee to green, but has always struggled on the putting surface, and especially in situations where he had to make putts to win.
“That’s been the error of my game since June last year,” Rose said. “Today was probably the first real hot day I’ve had with the blade in a long, long time.”
Justin started the year out with a new putter, but switched back to his TaylorMade 200 during the the Honda Classic, and has putted with it since. He finished tied fourth at PGA National, and got an eighth place finish at Doral. He has been working with David Orr, and the extra work seems to be paying off.
Justin hit only seven fairways at Bay Hill, but he was able to hit 13 greens and had seven looks that were within 15 feet. I heard a discussion on the telecast that Justin has had conversations with Tiger, with Tiger telling him what his dad used to tell him; take time to paint your golf game. Now that Justin has most of his game together, maybe he can get down to the business of enjoying his rounds, and stop worrying about the technicalities of his swing.
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