Justin Rose opened with rounds of 72-73 to sneak in under the cut at 3-over par, but after a bogey-free 64 on Saturday, the Englishman is back in the hunt at 4-under par.
Rose got off to a hot start on moving day, making birdie on the first hole, and adding a second on the par-5 sixth hole to turn in 34. Still, he was 1-over for the tournament, and some seven shots off the pace.
The 37-year old, though, sizzled on the home stretch, making gains on Nos. 10, 13, and 14 to reach 2 under. After pars on 15 and 16, Rose closed with two-straight birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to tie Steve Stricker’s (2007) Open Championship record at Carnoustie with a 7-under 64. The birdie on the 18th – the toughest hole on the course – was his third straight.
“It was a beautiful morning to play golf. I felt like it was an opportunity to score well out there,” said Rose, who rocketed 59 spots up the leaderboard, from T65 to T6.
“The greens were somewhat receptive and the pins weren’t as tough as the first couple of days. I felt like it was a typical setup for a moving day.”
On the day, Rose hit 10 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens, and stroked just 25 putts. The course record at Carnoustie is 63, shot by Tommy Fleetwood at the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
STATS: HOW JUSTIN ROSE SCORED
Rose has improved each day with accuracy, going from 8 fairways and 10 greens hit on Thursday to 10 and 14 on Saturday. He’s also improved his putting, averaging 29 in the opening two rounds to just 25 on Saturday.
In terms of scoring, Rose has played Carnoustie’s final four holes at 4-under par without a bogey – a field best. Yet, he’s even-par on the two par 5s with two birdies and a double. Of the top 10 on the leaderboard, he’s the only player not in the red on these two holes.
Stat-Round 1-Round 2-Round 3
DRIVING: 312-313-314 yards
FAIRWAYS HIT: 8-9-10 (of 15)
GREENS HIT: 10-12-14 (of 18)
Cumulative through 54 holes
Par 3: E (1 Birdie, 7 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Par 4: -4 (7 Birdies, 26 Pars, 3 Bogeys)
Par 5: E (2 Birdies, 3 Pars, 1 Double Bogey)
JUSTIN ROSE QUOTES
“I’m hoping the conditions will change for those to come. It feels a little benign right now. We need the tide to change and the winds to pick up, that’s always part of it. It’s forecast to build a little bit more this afternoon but it hasn’t seem to pick up all week.”
– Joking about the weather for the final groups.
“I felt like those late couple birdies certainly will make tomorrow at least interesting.”
– On the final two birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.
“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning. That might have been part of the shift in mindset. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”
– On playing with house money.