We’re now three weeks into the Tour season around the world which means virtually everyone inside the top-50 in the Official World Golf Rankings had teed up their first competitive round of 2013, an exciting sign that professional golf, along with leaderboard watching, is fully back in action.
A number of the world’s marquee players, including TaylorMade Tour Staff professional Justin Rose, elected to make their 2013 season debut at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship, the field giving those players their first taste of competition in an elite field with a purse to match the prestige. That said, Rose has come out of the gates in remarkably sharp fashion, putting together three sub-70 rounds to earn a two-shot lead heading into the final round.
Rose is eyeing his second victory with TaylorMade’s new Lethal golf ball – he previously won the World Golf Final in October playing Lethal under the code name “Project 5″ in October 2012. The first player to switch into the new ball last fall, Rose is especially comfortable with the performance of Lethal after three months-plus of testing in all types of conditions – from Turkey to Florida and a few stops in between.
Meanwhile, on the PGA Tour, TaylorMade Tour Staff professional Roberto Castro entered the weekend at PGA West tied for the lead at the Humana Challenge after switching to the new R1 driver on Thursday. Castro’s new R1 is equipped with a Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Blue 72X and during testing, he found that it was outperforming his R11, consistently delivering lower spin and tighter dispersion with an improved sound and feel. He opened the Humana Challenge by playing his first 33 holes in 16 under-par before making a single bogey, hitting more than 75 percent of fairways in regulation during the first two rounds.
Castro has since opened his third round at Humana with another birdie to regain a one-shot lead. You can follow the 27-year-old’s quest for his first career PGA Tour win this weekend on PGATour.com or by watching the live coverage on Golf Channel. Halfway around the world, in Abu Dhabi, the final round is scheduled to kick off in the 10 o’clock hour on the East coast. Rose’s final-round tee time is 3:50 a.m. EST and you can follow the official leaderboard on EuropeanTour.com.
Should Castro win, it would mark the second victory in three weeks on the PGA Tour for the new R1 driver after Dustin Johnson opened the season with a victory at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Should Rose win, the Abu Dhabi Championship would mark the first official Tour win for the Lethal golf ball.