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Rose sets the pace at British Masters with 7-under

Justin rose Justin rose - The Canadian Press

SUTTON COLDFIELD, England (AP) — As expected, Justin Rose set the pace in the first round of the British Masters with a 7-under 65.

Rose, the World No. 31 and top-ranked player in the field, had eight birdies and a solitary bogey at the Belfry on Thursday. The Englishman has a one-shot lead over former Ryder Cup teammate Jamie Donaldson.

Donaldson birdied five of the last six holes in his 66, with Germany’s Yannik Paul, English amateur John Gough, James Morrison and Spain’s Sebastian Garcia all on 4 under.

“I felt very comfortable with my game from the first shot,” Rose said. “I hit a beautiful little wedge into the 10th hole, made a nice birdie there and I think that’s the cleanest round of golf I’ve played in a long, long time.”

Defending champion Thorbjorn Olesen is five shots off the lead after an opening round of 70.