Justin Rose needs to win the BMW PGA Championship to qualify automatically for a fifth straight appearance at the Ryder Cup.
The Englishman is off to a strong start in that quest.
Rose shot a bogey-free, 5-under 67 and was three shots off the first-round lead shared by Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout, two players for whom the specter of Ryder Cup qualification does not matter this week.
The European Tour’s flagship event at its headquarters at Wentworth, southwest of London, marks the final chance for Ryder Cup hopefuls to earn points to get into the final places on offer for the match against the United States at Whistling Straits this month.
Rose, ranked No. 45, is most likely relying on a captain’s pick by Padraig Harrington and he did his cause no harm by making three birdies in his first six holes and also picking up a shot on the par-5 18th. He was tied for fourth place.
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