Justin Rose makes promising start in bid to three-peat in Turkey after late fireworks

Jack Rathborn

A flurry of late birdies saw Justin Rose fire an opening round of 67 to surge up the leaderboard in an excellent start to his bid of joining an elite group of players to have pulled off three successive victories at the same tournament on the European Tour.

Rose's five under par round at the Turkish Airlines Open came after stringing together three birdies to close strongly at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya on day one.

The former world No 1 sits just two strokes behind Tom Lewis and Matthias Schwab at seven under.

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With victory this week, Rose would join the exclusive group of Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie to have succeeded three years on the spin at the same event, though Tiger Woods did so on the PGA Tour from 2005 to 2007 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Rose's progress was staggered at the start of the back nine when a pair of bogeys sandwiched an eagle at 11, but his resilience at 16 saw him spark a late revival to sit nicely heading into day two.

Tom Lewis leads the Turkish Airlines Open after day one (Getty)
Tom Lewis leads the Turkish Airlines Open after day one (Getty)

Former Masters champions Danny Willett is also tucked in with Rose at five under par.

While fellow Green Jacket holder Patrick Reed, venturing across to Europe this week, is six back on one under.

Open Champion Shane Lowry could only muster level bar, while former Claret Jug holder Francesco Molinari is just one better at one under.

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