A number of Americans were at Gullane Golf Club, on the North Sea coast east of Edinburgh, to prepare for next week’s British Open.
That left him at eight under for the tournament and the joint clubhouse leader alongside Ireland’s Shane Lowry, who had identical back-to-back 66s, and Sweden’s Johan Carlsson who added a 67 to a first round of 65.
Glasgow’s Marc Warren, who was in the same group as Rose and past champion Phil Mickelson, found himself in the midst of the commotion.
The key to his outstanding start was splitting the tight Gullane fairways and reaching all but one of the greens in regulation, the exception being the last where he still managed his par.
After playing the weekend in Dubai at the end of January, Brooks missed 13 cuts in a row this term, but finished tied for 20th in France last week to stop the rot.
“But I feel like I have managed my game well, played the hard holes well and kept it clean”. It gets to you. “But I’ve been there and done it so hopefully I can have a good weekend”.
Brooks only title came after a playoff at the Madeira Islands Open in May past year, but that victory was in a tournament that was reduced to 36 holes because of fog and was overshadowed by the death of the caddie of Scottish player Alastair Forsyth earlier that day. “With Mack passing away, I didn’t have time to celebrate”, Brooks said.
He placed second in the Mauritius Open in May, but had struggled once again since then until Thursday when he returned to links golf he says he feels comfortable with from growing up in Denmark. I think he got weak at the knees and was on the floor resting, but he came around pretty quick. “Played nicely in Germany but just missed the cut”.
A delightfully flighted 5-iron into eight-feet from around 225 yards on the second spawned an eagle-3 while another birdie on the 17th was followed by a raking putt of 30-feet on the last as he conjured a rousing run-in.
” Obviously it was an incredible week at Birkdale”, Rose said during the defence of his Scottish Open title at Gullane. “You can’t quite see where the spectator line is on that hole and when I saw the ball bounce up I was hoping it had maybe hit one of the white stakes”, he said.
“He was on the floor resting but he was talking to me and seemed okay”.
Despite a bogey on the opening hole, Rose who ominously admitted that he was playing at only “50 per cent”, unleashed the heavy artillery and blasted his way up the standings with a robust run of five birdies in the next seven holes en route to a second consecutive 66.
Players Championship victor Rickie Fowler, England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Holland’s Joost Luiten were two shots off the lead on 10 under, with Eddie Pepperell, Matt Kuchar and Russell Knox another shot back.