The 40-year-old caught fire at the back end of the opening round on day one, playing his final 11 holes in 9-under to shoot a 7-under 65 through the first round at Augusta, the best score of his Masters career.
Rose’s sensational opening day gave him a four-stroke lead ahead of America’s Brian Harman and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who were tied for second on 3-under.
Rose, Harman and Matsuyama were the only three players to break 70 on the opening day in tough conditions.
Following his stunning opening round, Rose said his success was down to staying poised when he was two over par through the first seven holes of the round.
“I guess the good news is I don’t know what happened, and that’s when you play your best golf, when you get into that flow,” he told Sky Sports.
“This was a day not to play yourself out of the tournament … to be nine under for the last 11, you can never quite see that coming here, but that happened because I didn’t panic when I was two over after seven.”
The first round lead was Rose’s fourth at Augusta throughout his career, joining golf legend Jack Nicklaus with the most first round leads of all-time, while his 9-under on the final 11 holes was the best stretch any player has enjoyed since 2004.
The golf world was stunned by Rose’s sensational finish on the opening day.
“That’s off the charts,” British golf legend Nick Faldo said on commentary.
“I mean the lighting has changed, the humidity certainly changed and he’s just making everything.”
“Just brilliant. You won’t see a stretch any better around here,” Faldo’s co-commentator said after Rose wrapped up his opening round performance.
“Just a fantastic start on one of the tougher scoring days we’ve seen in a while here.”
Rose could have matched a couple of records with a birdie at the final hole, but gladly settled for par. He shot 30 on the back side, one off the tournament record shared by Mark Calcaveccia (1992) and David Toms (1998), while also narrowly missing the mark for largest lead after the opening round.
The Englishman’s remarkable showing was made more impressive with the struggles of some of golf’s biggest names on the opening day.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson opened with a 74. Rory McIlroy struggled to a 76. Long-hitting Bryson DeChambeau was 4 over with three holes to play.