Justin Rose shot a four-under-par first round to put himself in contention at the Qatar Masters.The 2013 US Open winner shot birdies in two of the first three holes and finished in the same manner to shoot 67 in Doha. Rose is three shots off the pace. Englishman Oliver Fisher is seven-under-par and is at the top of the leaderboard. Justin Rose had this to say after his round.
JUSTIN ROSE: They kind of made us feel like there’s a score to be had out there. I had a decent run of holes around the turn. Birdied sort of four or five in a six?, seven?hole period. That was really the round in a nutshell around the middle. Couldn’t really buy a putt coming in, but all in all happy with the round.
Q. Is it good to get off to a good start for once, because there have been times of late that you’ve really just got it going over the weekend.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, it’s been definitely some slow starts I’ve had to overcome of late. I mean, 68 is a good start. Obviously not an electric pace, but nice to be somewhere in contention and it’s a score on which to build for the rest of the week. Yeah, it’s the perfect type of start really.
Q. We touched on this ahead of the championship but it’s good to continue the form from the weekend in Abu Dhabi.
JUSTIN ROSE: Exactly, four rounds consecutive in the 60s, it’s always nice to do that. Tells me I’m doing some things well. I think the area of my game that’s been keeping me together is my chipping. I’ve been chipping the ball nice when arrive been making mistakes. Just keep that going and continue to improve the rest.
Q. Challenging despite the wind dropping.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, there’s still over a club wind. Still hitting 8 irons from 140 into the breeze. It’s taking 20, 25 yards off the shot still. So it’s still enough there to sort of really catch our attention, but a nice amount of breeze. You can put together a score obviously, but at the same time, you have to be really on your game to make a good score.
Q. 4 under, that was your 250th appearance on The European Tour. What was it like out there for you today?
JUSTIN ROSE: That was a nice 250th appearance. I’m feeling somewhat older with that stat behind me now. There’s definitely a lot of golf I’ve got sort of under my belt. But it was a good day out there, beautiful day. Obviously it was nice that the weather calmed down over the first couple of days. I was in a good group with Stevie and Charl and a pleasant morning’s work.
Q. Did the wind play a factor at all? Not the strongest it can get around here by any stretch of the imagination.
JUSTIN ROSE: It wasn’t strong but it still was enough. I think it was taking 20, 25 yards off iron shots. I was hitting 8 irons from 140 where I would normally be hitting 8?iron from 165. Still enough to make you think and be quite precise with your shot selection.
A couple times today you played for the wind downbreeze and sometimes it knocks the ball out of the sky. Enough to sort of keep us on our toes but not that heavy breeze where it’s uncontrollable if you like. I think if you play well, you can make a score as obviously the leaderboard shows.
Q. Last week a bit of a slow start but a real fast, flashy finish and you brought it on here this week. Have you been working on anything to get to that position?
JUSTIN ROSE: I’ve been working on lots of things. Sort of just been going through pretty much all the feels I’ve had over the last year or two, seeing which one works the best.
I didn’t do a ton of work over the Christmas period, so paid for that really early last week. But beginning to find my momentum and find my feels and beginning to hit the ball better round by round.
I haven’t really made a putt yet but I feel like I’m stroking the ball well and have to be patient with that side of my game. All in all the short game feels sharp, which is good, no doubt the long game will come around.