England’s Justin Rose (pictured) smashed the course record at Disney World’s Lake Buena Vista Palms Course in Florida yesterday, his opening round of 60 enabling him to build a four stroke lead over Sweden’s Richard Johnson in the Funai Classic as he seeks his maiden victory on the USPGA Tour.
His sensational round was twelve-under-par, and it included an amazing ten birdies in the first twelve holes – a streak that included six straight birdies from the seventh hole. He reached the turn in 29 strokes and then made birdies on the 10th, 11th and 12th. Additional birdies on the 14th and 17th were enough to break the course record by a shot but left him agonisingly close to the elusive and magic figure of 59 – a score only achieved by four men in the entire history of the USPGA Tour. Rose was not disappointed by this, however, and was very proud of the way he had played.
“That is by far my lowest round and I was in uncharted territory,” said the 26 year-old.
“I started off really well and felt relaxed and good about my game all day. Everything I did seemed to come off perfectly. Hopefully I can build on this over the next three rounds.”
In a day of low scoring Johnson fired a bogey-free 64, while a cluster of Americans – including Ryder Cup star JJ Henry – lie one stroke further back on -7. Trevor Immelman and Lucas Glover, who won the tournament last year, shot impressive rounds of 66 while Vijay Singh, the highest ranked player in the field, shot a 68 around the tournament’s other course, the Magnolia. The day, however, undoubtedly belonged to Rose and British fans everywhere will be hoping that his amazing start can lead to him breaking his duck on the USPGA Tour on Sunday.