Justin Rose is under par at PGA's halfway point despite shocking driving-accuracy woes

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Justin Rose entered this week’s PGA Championship believing that 4 under would be the winning score once everyone had completed their four trips around meaty Oak Hill Country Club.

At the halfway point, with Rose sitting at a tidy 1 under and just a few shots off the lead, he still feels that way. His reasoning emboldened by fairways that are difficult to hit, especially in a stiff northerly wind like what players saw Friday, and treacherous rough.

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“Holes like 17 and No. 4,” Rose said, “I mean, I don't even really know how you hit the ball in the fairway.”

For Rose, he struggled to hit any fairways in Friday’s second round. After finding just five on Thursday, Rose hit approach shots from the short grass just twice a day later, which ranked him T-147 in the 156-player field in driving accuracy.

Yet, at the same time, Rose found half his greens in regulation, and then got up and down on six of those nine occasions that he missed. For the week, Rose currently leads the field in strokes gained around-the-green.


Full-field scores from the PGA Championship

He also totaled over 110 feet on just 26 putts on Friday.

“Smoke and mirrors, I guess,” Rose quipped with a laugh before explaining his success: “A few fair lies in the rough, to be honest. Advancing the ball up and around the green and good short game, stayed with it. When I did catch a bad lie in the rough, took my medicine and pitched out and tried to avoid the big number. I felt like making a bogey or two around here is no big deal. The fact that I made 10 birdies [in two days] is remarkable considering how I've put the ball in play off the tee.”