PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – It’s a feeling nearly every golfer can relate to – pedestrian warm-up on the range followed by a surprisingly stellar round, and yes, it even happens to PGA Tour players.
In the run-up to his opening round at TPC Sawgrass, Justin Rose paced around the range and plowed through practice balls in a desperate search for answers.
“It was pretty awful on the range and I had not much feel of anything that I was doing, to be honest with you,” Rose said. “All Sean (Foley) could offer really is take a couple of deep breaths and good luck, because everything looked OK. It was just a matter of I didn't have any feel.”
Rose rounded the Stadium Course in a near-flawless 5-under 67 for a share of second place at The Players, a twist that Foley has seen plenty of times.
“After some of the best warm-ups I’ve ever seen a guy will go out and be 4 over through five holes,” Foley said. “I just tell them, ‘OK, it’s not going to feel good all the time.' There are times when I see an eight out of 10 and they see a two out of 10.”
Rose, who said something clicked when he watched Harris English tee off before him at the first hole, turned at 2 under and was bogey-free on the closing nine, including a birdie at the last when he dropped his approach to 4 feet.