For the sixth time in his last eight rounds, Justin Rose finds himself on top of the leaderboard and is in front again at the AT&T National heading into the final round. There is no question that he has had a great run over the last month and is playing consistent golf, with the exception of one round.
That round occurred last Sunday at the Travelers Championship. After leading the way the entire first three rounds, Rose fell apart on the final day and could not hold his lead. He finds himself in a similar situation heading into Sunday, with the only exception being he is one more shot ahead than he was a week ago.
“If you’re sitting at the top of the leaderboard, it seems like it’s yours to lose,” Rose said. “That’s why a golf tournament is 72 holes. The lead really doesn’t mean much until you close it out. I just know that tomorrow I have a great opportunity again, but I’m more excited about the opportunity of putting into play the lessons I’ve learned in Hartford than actually going out and winning the golf tournament.”
On Saturday, Rose made some critical par saves in the middle of the round and went on to shoot a 3-under 67. His round Saturday now puts him four shots ahead of Carl Pettersson who shot a 65 and Charlie Wi who ended the day at 70. Now, Rose must find a way to close out the tournament at the tough Aronimink Golf Club and accomplish something he has never done, win a PGA tour event after leading 54 holes.
“It’s tougher to go low around here,” said Rose. “It’s easier to go higher. It’s an interesting test. But it suits good golf. It’s tough to find the birdies. I’ve just got to keep playing solid.”
Rose is only one of two players that has broken par in all three rounds. He sits at 10-under and is the only player to reach double digits under par at one of the toughest PGA Tour courses this year.
Wi got himself within one shot of the lead, but fell back on the 14th after taking four shots from within 25 feet, including the last three from 6 feet.
“This is course is not like last week where you have to make tons of birdies,” Wi said. “You could be 1 or 2 over, or you could be 2 or 3 under. That changes the momentum, so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. I know 1 or 2 under sounds really easy, but this golf course is definitely not easy.”
PGA sportsbooks feel that Rose can recover from last Sunday and hold on to his lead to win the AT&T National. They have his odds set at 1/3 to win on Sunday. Pettersson has his odds set at 8/1 while Wi is at 10/1.