Justin Rose flies out the blocks to sit at Charles Schwab Challenge summit
Justin Rose hit the ground running as golf returned from a three-month hiatus with the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday.
Rose held the clubhouse lead in Fort Worth, Texas after the early starters finished their rounds, having shot a blemish-free round of 63 in the first major tournament since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sport.
The world number 14, starting on the back nine, birdied four of the his first seven holes and then picked up shots on each of the first three holes after making the turn.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer.
Dustin Johnson did not enjoy his own return to action quite so much as the world number five stumbled to a one-over 71, carding four bogeys in a rusty round.
Ian Poulter was in a group tied for 10th place after a round of 66 while Phil Mickelson – fresh from his challenge matches with Tiger Woods during the shutdown – could only manage a one-under 69 to sit in a share of 38th place.
The event is the first on the PGA Tour since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida in early March, and has drawn a star-studded field to Texas.
Sixteen of the world top 20 will be in action over the weekend, with top-ranked Rory McIlroy among the late starters.