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Red-hot Rose rallies into BMW lead

ENGLAND'S Justin Rose carded a superb eight-under-par 63 to claim a two-shot lead in the first round of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill.

Rose carded nine birdies and just one bogey to finish only one shot outside the course record.

Starting on the back nine, Rose picked up shots at the 10th, 11th, 15th and 17th, with his only blemish coming on the par-four 13th.

The 31-year-old then stormed home in 30, with five more birdies, to lead by two shots from American duo Webb Simpson and Mark Wilson.

"I certainly didn't expect that going out there today," Rose said.

"It's certainly my best round of the year by a long, long way, and could have been top five, top 10 rounds I've ever played for sure. That was really good out there."

Rose started the day 34th in the FedEx Cup rankings, but would move up to third with a victory.

"(I started the tournament) with the mindset that I've got nothing to lose this week," Rose added. "That's my strategy.

"Right now, I'm not going to Atlanta (the top 30 players qualify for the Tour Championship). I've got everything to gain this week."

Luke Donald carded a four-over 75, Charl Schwartzel returned a 73, while world number nine Phil Mickelson shot a 72.