Justin Rose did not play a stellar round of golf on Friday afternoon at the 143rd Open Championship, but with the leaders on the course at Royal Liverpool, and the conditions getting worse as we speak, the 2013 US Open Champ is safely in the clubhouse at two under par. The conditions at Hoylake are windy, and the weather for the weekend is forecasted to provide yet another Open Championship with the possibility of rain.
Rose fired a solid two under par 70 after shooting even par with a later tee-time on Thursday. With victories in his last two outings at The Quicken Loans Championship, and The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open last week, the 33 year-old Englishman is exactly where he wants to be on moving day.
The one thing we haven’t seen from Justin in his last two wins, was serious up and down play. He has just methodically gone about, playing his steady game, and when the dust settles, he seems to be the “Last Man Standing.
It wasn’t any different on Friday when he traded a bogey at the seventh hole for a birdie at nine. His back nine was again a bogey at 14, and a birdie at 18. The difference was the eagle chip-in at 10 that got him in the clubhouse at two under par.
With two wins this year on both sides of the big pond, and on very difficult layouts, I see him being a contender when we get to the back nine on Sunday. His number three World Ranking has him in position to acquire that all-important number one with a win at Hoylake.
George Cotzee from South Africa is also in the clubhouse at this writing, and is at -5 under par with the leaders struggling in the afternoon session.
Rose is currently 16th in FedEx Cup points, and is in seventh place in the European Tour’s Race To Dubai.