NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- It's a good thing Justin Rose stuck around the United States for another week.
After missing the cut at the PGA Championship and finishing 15 strokes behind the week after that, Rose rebounded with an 8-under 63 on Friday to take the first-round lead of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
"I almost didn't expect this today," he said after he wound up in the lead for the first time in a PGA Tour event. "Something clicked. ... It's just a great start and a good confidence builder."
Rose played most of the summer on the European Tour, coming over for the Masters and the U.S. Open before returning home for the British Open. He missed the cut at Royal St. George's, and then took three weeks off to rest before missing the cut at the PGA.
"Proved to be disastrous," he said. "But it might be paying benefits now."
At the NEC Invitational last week, Rose shot a pair of 69s on the weekend after going 3 over on the first two days. That makes three straight rounds under 70.
"After the PGA, I was pretty low. I was battling away at my game," he said. "Things are finally going right."
The PGA Tour returned to the Boston area for the first time in five years, bringing out some 25,000 spectators who were reminded how easy the game can look when the putts don't have to travel far.
Rose made five birdies from inside 3 feet, then capped off his first round with a 15-foot eagle from the fringe. Vijay Singh and Cliff Kresge each had a 65 on the 7,415 yard TPC of Boston course; the best scoring came from the early starters -- the average was 1 1/2 strokes higher in the afternoon, when the breezes picked up.
Rose hit a sand wedge into 18 inches on his opening hole, then added two more birdies with an 8-iron into 2 feet on No. 4 and another 8-iron into 3 feet on No. 5. Rose blasted out of a greenside bunker to 18 inches for another birdie on the par-5 seventh.
"I really hadn't made a putt until the eighth, where I knocked in a 20-footer," Rose said. "And suddenly, I was 5 under."
The 23-year-old Englishman finished as good as he started.
He hit his approach into 3 feet on the 17th to catch Singh and Kresge, then blew past them with a 4-iron from 231 yards that easily cleared the marsh, caught a ridge and stopped just on the fringe, setting up his eagle.
Steve Flesch bogeyed No. 9 for a 66 and was joined by Brent Schwarzrock, Pat Bates, Garrett Willis and Tim Petrovic, who was born in Massachusetts and raised in Connecticut.
Tiger Woods, playing for the third straight week, was poised to make a move as well, hitting the ball well from tee to green. But he missed five birdie chances inside 12 feet, and the only three putts he made longer than 6 feet were to save par twice, and to save bogey after hitting into the hazard on No. 16.
"I played pretty good, actually," Woods said after a 1-under 70. "I just made absolutely nothing. The worst part is that I hit decent putts that just didn't go in."
The round lacked the kind of momentum that Woods has been searching for since March. Every birdie was followed by a bogey; he made only one par the final seven holes.
U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk fought the afternoon winds for a 74. Brad Faxon, who grew up in Rhode Island, shot 75 and was hoping for calm conditions on Saturday morning.
"I hope I shoot a good round tomorrow, because I don't want to miss this," he said.
Darren Clarke, coming off a dominant victory last week in the NEC Invitational at Firestone, recovered from his extended celebration and was among those at 67. He was the first European this year to win on the PGA Tour, and Rose took a small step toward making it two in a row.
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