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2005 Funai Classic at the Walt Disney World ResortLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Justin Rose had a 14-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Thursday that, if it went down, would have made him the fourth player in PGA TOUR history to shoot a 59.
 
Unfortunately for the Englishman, the putt stayed above ground and Rose 'settled' for a 12-under-par 60. That is a new course record at the Palms Course at Walt Disney World Resort and gave Rose a four-shot lead after the first round of the Funai Classic.
 
Justin Rose
Justin Rose had 12 birdies and no bogeys Thursday.
'Fifty-nine is a huge number to shoot and you never know if you'll get the chance again,' said Rose, who bested the previous mark of 61 set by Mark Lye in 1984 and matched by Carl Pettersson last year. 'Right now I don't feel disappointed. Maybe the enormity of 59 will hit me and I'll think that was an amazing chance.'
 
Rose wasted little time on Thursday as he two-putted from 30 feet for a birdie at the par-5 first. He rolled in a 30-footer for birdie at the second, then hit a 6-iron to 3 feet to set up his third birdie in a row.
 
At the par-4 fifth, Rose found the fairway off the tee, then hit a pitching-wedge to 6 feet. He converted the birdie putt, but then went on an amazing run around the turn.
 
At the par-5 seventh, Rose reached the green in two with a 5-iron and two-putted for a birdie from 30 feet. One hole later, Rose knocked a 5-iron to 20 feet and canned the birdie putt. He collected his final front-nine birdie at the ninth when his 7-iron approach stopped 7 feet from the hole.
 
Rose continued his strong play on the second nine. The 7-iron was a valuable club at the par-4 10th as Rose played his second to 4 feet. He holed the birdie putt and two-putted from 45 feet for a birdie at the par-5 11th.
 
Rose knocked a 5-iron to 10 feet and drained the birdie putt at the 12th to polish off six consecutive birdies. He was now 10 under par through 12 holes and 59 was certainly in his sights.
 
'I knew after being 10 under through 12, it was on,' said Rose. 'I had a reasonably good birdie chance at 13 and I knew I had a par-5 left to play.'
 
He missed a 10-footer for birdie at the 13th then two-putted from 30 feet for a birdie at the par-5 14th. Rose parred both the 15th and 16th holes, but played a 9-iron to 5 feet to set up his 12th birdie at the 17th.
 
At the par-4 18th, Rose hit a 6-iron from almost 190 yards. The ball rolled by the hole and stopped 15 feet from the cup near the fringe. Rose stepped up and slightly pulled the putt that would have forever linked him with Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and David Duval.
 
'Like I said, I'm not really disappointed. If I made a habit of shooting 60, then I might start to get frustrated by not shooting 59,' said Rose. 'But right now it's not an issue. I don't know what to say other than I'm happy.
 
'It's a good start to the tournament. I'm certainly not dwelling on anything. There's three more rounds to play and that's my focus this week.'
 
Richard S. Johnson is alone in second place as he shot an 8-under-par 64 on The Palms. Two courses are in the rotation for the first two rounds with the other being the Magnolia course.
 
Charles Howell III, Tag Ridings, Steve Flesch, Bob Tway and J.J. Henry are knotted in third place at 7-under-par 65.
 
Defending champion Lucas Glover, Charles Warren, Bill Haas, Trevor Immelman, Bubba Dickerson, Jerry Kelly, Mark Calcavecchia, Eric Axley, Chris Riley and Ian Leggatt are tied for eighth place at minus-6.
 
Davis Love III, Chris DiMarco, Shaun Micheel, Nick Price, Scott Verplank, Stuart Appleby and last week's winner in Las Vegas, Troy Matteson, headline a group at 5-under-par 67.
 
Vijay Singh, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 5, posted a 4-under 68 at the Magnolia course on Thursday.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Funai Classic at Walt Disney World
  • Full Coverage - Funai Classic at Walt Disney World