Justin Rose produced the piece of Masters magic he had been looking for to surge into contention for a second major title at Augusta National.
“I am seven back going into the weekend but a lot can happen on this golf course,” Rose said after his second round. “There’s some magic out there. I will keep playing my game and hopefully something special can happen.”
Something special did not appear on the cards when the 34-year-old played the first five holes in two over par on Saturday, having also been three over for the first four on Friday.
But birdies on the seventh and ninth took the Ryder Cup star to the turn in 36 and he stormed home in 31 with five birdies in the last six holes – including holing a bunker shot on the 16th – to finish four behind Jordan Spieth.
“Jordan was so far ahead that you were just playing your own game,” said Rose, whose birdie on the 18th ensured he got into the final group instead of three-time champion Phil Mickelson.
“I was doing the right things. I hit a good tee shot on 13. I hit a good tee shot on 15. So I was doing all I could to make a score. But then the things like the bunker shot going in are a bonus, and obviously the 18th hole making birdie there.
“It was nice to stay patient and get rewarded with a hot finish. It’s amazing and it put me in with a great opportunity now. It’s a great lesson, as well, to stay patient, because you never know when you’re going to get your run.”
Rose led after the first round here on three consecutive appearances and was fifth in 2007, when he was one off the lead with two holes to play before a double bogey on the 17th.
“I think I just find it (Augusta) an inspiring place, really,” he added. “Probably makes me no different to the other 96 guys who played this week. I have good memories around here.
“We always talk about the course fitting your eye and I guess it does for me. I’ve had good rounds. I’ve never put four together, so looking forward to that.
“I’ve got a good game plan around here. I’ve learned where you can miss it, where you can’t miss it; which pins to be aggressive to, which you can’t. I think that being here 10 times now, I’m sort of beginning to put it all together.’’
Rose came from two shots behind Mickelson to win his first major title at Merion two years ago and said: ‘’I just remember being very patient, very focused. Just believing it was a 72-hole tournament, playing one shot at a time, not getting ahead of myself and also not being scared to lose.
“You have to put it on the line and you’ve got to make committed, aggressive swings under pressure. That’s what I’m going to do on Sunday.”