The lead hasn’t been the safest place to be after 54 holes in the last three tournaments. Justin Rose crumbled on the back nine last week, Dustin Johnson skyrocketed to an 82 in the final round of the U.S. Open, and Robert Garrigus pulled a Jean Van de Velde on the final hole of the St. Jude’s.
But just a week after leading by six shots on Saturday and eventually missing a playoff by three, Rose is back on the horse and up four going into Sunday’s final round. Mighty impressive play of late. Is anyone else in the world playing better than him right now? (We’ll probably have to wait until tomorrow to answer that definitively.)
After winning the Memorial, Rose coughed up the Travelers, but he has put himself in position to seal the deal for a third straight tournament. And to think just over a month ago the 29-year-old had never won the PGA Tour.
Rose shot a final-round low 66 to race past Rickie Fowler and win the Memorial, so he has handled Sunday nerves, even though they got the best of him at the Travelers. But you might be able to chalk up the Travelers debacle to England’s raw deal against Germany in the World Cup that morning.
So can Tiger Woods come back from 13 down? (Just kidding.) Can Carl Pettersson shoot another 65? Who else is there unless Rose falters again?
Rose also had this incentive last week, but he’s not in the British Open yet. A win tomorrow would wrap up a spot via a short money list that takes the top two players from the Players Championship through the AT&T National. (There is also a last-ditch way to get into the British Open through the John Deere next week.)
But a win this week would also heal Rose’s psyche.
[AP Photo/Matt Slocum]