Rose in command in Connecticut
Justin Rose remained in charge at the Travelers Championship as he closed in on a second win in a month on the US PGA Tour.
Justin Rose remained in charge at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut as he closed in on a second win in a month on the US PGA Tour.
Rose, a first-time winner in the United States on June 6 at the Memorial Tournament, will take a three-shot lead into the final round at TPC River Highlands near Hartford on Sunday, the Englishman having shot a solid two-under-par 68 to back up opening rounds of 64 and 62 and reach 16 under par after 54 holes.
Rose, 29, had led by four strokes from American Kevin Sutherland after 36 holes, and after eight holes of his third round his lead had stretched to six strokes before Ben Curtis closed the gap with a 64.
“The putter dried up today and I think the longest putt I holed was at 17 from about four feet so when you have a day like that and you still get in the clubhouse two under without denting your position too much I’ll take it,” Rose said.
“I played really nicely today and felt pretty good all in all.”
The European Ryder Cup star had just one bogey through the first two rounds and he added two more birdies on his front nine to turn at 16 under for the tournament before his second over-par hole of the week came at the par-five 13th, where he found the lake off the tee and then missed his par putt.
Rose was happy, though with the way he bounced back, not least with a birdie at the 15th on his way to his 68 to get back to 16 under.
“Energy-wise I was struggling coming down the stretch a little bit but I was still happy with my position.
“I knew I’d go through a spell like that this week and I felt like I battled back pretty well after hitting it in the water on 13.
“I got a good up and down on 14, I birdied 15, hit it close at 16 and really turned the round around when I felt like it was going flat.
“But, you know, 68, three up, what can you do? I’m in a pretty good position.”
American Curtis is in second place on 13 under and Vaughn Taylor in third at 11 under thanks to a 67.
Like Curtis, Ricky Barnes had a 64 to reach 10 under as part of a seven-way tie for fourth, joined by Zimbabwe’s Brendon De Jonge (67), Australia’s Matt Jones (68), Americans Bubba Watson (67), Bill Lunde (69) and US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin, who rallied from two bogeys on his front nine with four birdies and one bogey in his last six holes for a 69.
Sutherland fell back to nine under with a 71 that puts him in a tie for 11th with Retief Goosen of South Africa, who shot a 64.
Sweden’s Carl Petterson had a 67 that put him in a large group at eight under while Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was among those at six under par following a third-round 69 that featured three birdies, a bogey and a double bogey, at the par-four 12th.
Defending champion Kenny Perry bogeyed his first two holes and carded three more before birdies at the 16th and 18th left him with a three-over-par 73, at level par after 54 holes.
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