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  Friday, 16 August, 2002, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
America falls for JR
Justin Rose
Justin Rose is one shot off the lead after one round
The first round of the USPGA saw a JR grabbing the headlines in America for the first time in 20 years.

Despite a rain interruption and the presence of Tiger Woods, it was the progress of a 22-year-old Englishman that captured the attention.


I didn't have any nerves on the first tee whatsoever
Justin Rose
Justin Rose continued his seemingly unstoppable rise in the professional game with an impressive 69 in his first American Major.

And it seems the galleries in Minnesota have been watching his progress on the other side of the Atlantic.

"From the onset people were chanting 'Go on JR', 'Go Rosie', things my mates would say," Rose said.

"It was very nice.

"There was a bunch of guys who followed me all the way round and they were on the walkway between every green and tee and always had a funny little comment to make.

"I had a good time out there today, I enjoyed it."

Justin Rose and caddy Mick Doran
Rose and caddy Mick Doran talk tactics
Rose first made headlines by finishing fourth at the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale as an amateur.

He immediately turned pro, and there followed one of the most intensely scrutinised debuts ever made in European golf.

Rose struggled with the pressure, missing the cut in 21 successive tournaments.

But this year he has come into his own, with two wins in South Africa and one in Japan as well as victory in the Victor Chandler British Masters.

He was also in contention until the closing holes at The Open and has risen to number 39 in the world.

"The missed cuts, I don't really remember much of it now, other than it seems to be a very, very long time ago," said Rose.

"To be honest, I think all the bad experiences I went through really toughened me up. Made me learn a lot about myself.

"So although they were bad times I think that they did stand me in good stead for playing better golf in the future."

The 22-year-old arrived at Hazeltine with the aim of a top-20 finish.

But after finishing the first day just one shot off the lead he must now be considered a contender.

And despite playing his first professional tournament in the United States, there is every chance that Rose will be the calmest player on the course.

"I've been sort of unbelievably relaxed this week," he said.

"I didn't have any nerves on the first tee whatsoever. I didn't have any nerves this morning.

"I felt very comfortable in the situation of competing in a major in America."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
England's Justin Rose
"There's still a long way to go"

Beem takes title

Final leaderboard

Hazeltine reaction

Photo galleries

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