LA JOLLA, CA– Justin Rose is starting right where he ended off last season. At the TOUR Championship, he hoisted the FedEx Cup trophy, earning himself $10 million and a cemented illustrious legacy. At the Farmers Insurance Open this week, he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. After shooting a first round 63, Justin Rose followed it up with a second round 66, on a much tougher Torrey Pines south course. With a three shot lead heading into the weekend, the Englishman is ecstatic about where his game is at.
“It was a great day out there,” said Rose after his round. “Obviously you never quite know what to expect on the South course. I didn’t drive it well early in my round actually, but I kept out of the fairway bunkers and got clean lies and was able to make some quality
shots, making some birdies after missing some fairways early and that kind of got me into
Rose Comfortable at Torrey Pines
The 2019 Farmers Insurance Open marks Justin Rose’s 10th career start at the event. And it is clear he has an affection towards Torrey Pines. It is the second time in his career where has had a 36 hole lead at the Farmers Insurance Open. But on the weekend, he hasn’t been able to put together the finishing touches to squeak out a win. In 2018 and 2017, he finished a tie for 8th and a tie for 4th respectively. This week, however, Rose appears to be in prime position to capture his 10th PGA Tour victory. In his first two rounds, he has only missed two greens in regulation. A true testament to his ball striking and placing the ball in the most opportune spots to make birdies.
“I’m swinging it well, striking it well,” says Rose. “Obviously strategy, game plan, not chasing the wrong pins. It’s easy to miss greens with good shots sometimes if you take on the wrong flagstick, so we’re being patient at times and putting it in the middle of the green when you have to and looking for the birdies when you’ve got good numbers.”
It appears week after week, Justin Rose is consistently near the top of the leaderboard. This is not by accident. Couple his quality ball striking with his affinity to be successful on major championship style courses, and you have a golfer who contends in numerous tournaments he competes in. Justin Rose credits his scheduling that allows him to be fully rested and ready for the big tournaments on the PGA Tour calendar.
“I think scheduling is important. I don’t play too much,” says Rose. “You still play enough
because you still want to get momentum and you want to get on a run. It’s very difficult if
your schedule’s one week on, one week off, but I feel like plenty years into it I know the
courses I like, I know where I’ve played well, I know where I’m comfortable.”
Matsuyama, Rahm Lurking and Ready to Chase Rose
At a course like Torrey Pines where there are birdie opportunities, players like Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm are in contention to make up some ground on Rose. Matsuyama’s pair of 66’s marks his best 36-hole start at the Farmers Insurance Open. The Japanese golfer is searching for his first victory since the 2017 WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Given how disappointing his 2018 season was, Matsuyama is elated by his start to the 2019 PGA Tour year.
“It was a disappointing year last year in that it didn’t include any victories, and so over the offseason, I’ve worked hard, trained hard,” says Matsuyama. “I was looking forward to starting the new season or the new year at Sony. Made the cut there that I don’t usually do, which was good to play all four rounds. Got here to San Diego on Sunday and did some work. Glad to see it’s paying off.”
Despite Jon Rahm following up his opening round 62 with a second round 70, he is still only five back of Rose and in this golf tournament. It was evident that the the difficult South Course played a role in Rahm’s higher score, but he is ready to have success for the weekend.
“I think we’re all very aware with how hard the South golf course is,” said Rahm. “I need to be better.”
Rose Sets 36-Hole Record
Sitting atop the leaderboard with a three-shot lead, a lot can happen in the next 36 holes. The tournament transitions to the South Course full-time, and with a little bit of wind expected for the third round, expect some higher scores.
But for Justin Rose, he can add another record to his golfing legacy. His 36-hole total of 129 ties Lennie Clements and Tom Lehman with the tournament record through two rounds. While there is still 36 holes to go, it is clear that Rose is playing at a level that will require the rest of the field to up their game.
“If I had a three-shot lead going into Sunday, then it would be worth kind of thinking about game plan and strategy, but as of now I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” said Rose.