CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Just three days ago, Justin Rose didn't sound very optimistic on the state of his game.
"I've got no idea where my game is this week, to be honest with you," Rose said Tuesday at Quail Hollow, his first start since missing the cut at the Masters despite being one of the favorites at Augusta National. "Winning this year is great, but I feel like there's a bit of a refocus and rededication and re-motivation that I found in the last week or two, post-Augusta."
There were some flashes of improvement for Rose in his opening 1-under 70 on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship. But bigger strides were taken Friday, as he went bogey free to card a 4-under 67. Of Rose's four birdies, three of them came on the par 5s, with the other coming at the ninth, his final hole of the day.
"Probably hit a couple more fairways today, just gave myself the opportunity," Rose said. "Obviously, I took care of all the par 5s. Then just the key up-and-downs at times when you need them to keep the round going."
But the world No. 1 still has work to do on the weekend. Jason Dufner and Max Homa went low Friday morning in drizzly conditions, each carding 8-under 63, with Dufner's good enough to grab hold of the solo lead. Still, Rose likes his position after two rounds.
"If the golf course is tough, it offers you a little bit of a chance to play catch-up if you play a great round, but that catch-up round is hard to find," Rose said. "You don't want to give yourself too much work to do on this kind of golf course, you want to be able to be up there and able to play patient. I think obviously 5 under gives me the opportunity to go out and not change my game plan going into tomorrow."