Justin Rose Leads Betfred British Masters After Eight Birdies On Opening Day

The Englishman is looking to continue his good form...
16:00, 29 Jun 2023

Justin Rose hit eight birdies on day one of the Betfred British Masters to move into a one-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson. The tournament at the Belfry, hosted by Sir Nick Faldo, has seen the 42-year-old produce some of his finest putting and he posted a score of 65 to take himself clear of the field. 

It’s an opening day showing that has moved him into 6/4 to win the tournament outright with sponsors Betfred, while Jamie Donaldson can be backed at 14/1 if you fancy the Welshman to do something special in the midlands. 

"To be fair pretty much everything [I did well today]," Rose said after his round. "I got off to a good start. It felt like a nice morning to get out there and get off to a good start. The greens were a little fresher.

"It was the morning to get after a really good score. I drove the ball really tight off the tee, and this golf course is actually really narrow, sometimes only 25 yards between bunker to bunker.

"I made a few putts coming in, which was nice. I have a bit more clarity week-to-week in my game, and I'm not just searching for something that's going to work that particular week, and then throw that out and try something the next week. But anybody who is playing in a rich vein of form has fairly simple thoughts and good strong feels, and you kind of layer those feels week-to-week, which builds trust in your game, and momentum."

Betfred British Masters Odds*

47-year-old Donaldson also relaxed into a wonderful first day, hitting 66 as he tracked Rose almost every step of the way. Now he’s put himself within striking distance he will hope to keep hold of Rose’s coattails as we move into day two. Elsewhere, John Gough and Yannik Paul sit level in third on four under, while a whole host of players are tied on three under.

If Rose capitalises on his good start, he will lift this trophy for the first time since 2002. And that particular win still holds a special place in his heart given he won a ding-dong battle with Ian Poulter and his late father was there to see it in person. 

He also seems to have turned a corner in 2023, having ended a four-year trophy drought with a win at Pebble Beach, even though his issues on the course have been well-documented. He's back to No. 31 in the world and now has hit sights set on more precious silverware at the Belfry. He will also have half an eye on automatically qualifying for the Ryder Cup this September, and playing like this will do his chances the world of good. 

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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