Justin Rose headed into the weekend looking to maintain his four shot lead at the Travelers Championship. He finished the first two rounds setting a tournament 36-hole record with rounds of 64 and 62. Now, Rose finds himself still in the lead by 3 shots after finishing Saturday with a 2-under 68 which left him a stroke off the 54-hole tournament record.
“It was just a day when nothing went in on the greens at all,” said Rose. “The tale of the day was that I made nothing on the greens. The longest putt I made was 4 feet, 10 inches for par on 17.
“So, I’m really happy to have a day like that on the greens and still shoot 68 and still maintain my lead.”
Rose, who is 16-under for the tournament, holds a three shot lead over Ben Curtis who shot a 64 on Saturday. Rose got off to a great start after birdies on the 5th and 6th which opened a six stroke lead. But Curtis, who began the day seven strokes back, made his run on the back nine after landing birdies on five of the nine holes.
“I thought the start was key for me today,” Rose said. “I hit a lot of good shots early in my round. Birdies at 5 and 6 really felt like it got the round going and brought me back into the comfort zone.”
If Curtis would have played on the front nine as well as he did on the back, he could be in better shape going into Sunday looking for the win at TPC River Highlands. He had only one birdie, but managed to shoot par on the other eight holes.
“I got off to a slower start today than I maybe wanted to,” Curtis said. “I just stayed patient and tried to keep hitting the greens and tried to make the putts and luckily, on the last nine holes, they kind of started going in.”
Rose is well aware of what could transpire on Sunday if does not keep the pace he has carried all tournament. He has been consistent and has only bogeyed one hole the entire tournament.
“I just got to keep playing aggressive when I need to and just keep hitting the greens and picking the right club,” Curtis said. “You know, it’s one of those weeks when if you shoot par, you’re going to go backward.”
Rose is still favored by PGA sportsbooks to win the Travelers Championship with odds set at 1/3. Curtis has his odds set at 4/1 while Vaughn Taylor, who is in 3rd at 11-under, has his odds set at 12/1.