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Rose in the hunt at Congressional

ESPN staff
June 29, 2014
Justin Rose watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the third round © Getty Images

Justin Rose is within three shots of the lead at Congressional after bogeying the 18th hole in a round of 71.

The former US Open champion started well, only to make bogey on the par-five ninth and a double-bogey on the 11th hole.

He battled back with a pair of late birdies, but dropped another shot at the last to fall three behind leader Patrick Reed and into a share of fifth place.

None of the last 26 players who teed off broke 70. Rose took note of the rapidly changing colour of the greens, and his only fear was officials watering the greens overnight, which would make it easier for the early starters.

"I'd be a fan of them letting them go a little bit and making this a tough tournament and sort of having another US Open," Rose said. "That would be my wish right now. But obviously, the course is firm. Wedges were releasing 10 yards by the end of the day. It's definitely a test. It was fun. I enjoy that type of golf.

"I drove the ball incredibly well and gave myself an opportunity to keep playing well. I need to go and play a great round tomorrow."

Reed leads by two going into Sunday after a third-round 71.

On a day when making pars often meant moving forward, Reed overcame three bogeys in a seven-hole stretch by playing the last five holes at one under for a two-shot margin over Seung-yul Noh, Freddie Jacobson and Marc Leishman.

"You can't get ahead of yourself," Reed said. "If you think about having the lead or if you think about what you're going to do coming down 18, you're going to lose focus on the rest of the holes."

Reed was not in the fairway on two holes where he made birdie, and he managed to pull it off.

In deep rough to the right of the fourth fairway, he was 169 yards away and decided to smash a nine-iron to clear the bunker instead of trying a soft eight-iron. It worked out perfectly. The ball bounded past the hole and up a slope, and slowly rolled back to within inches of the cup.

"I thought there was about a three percent chance I could cover that bunker, and I ended up being perfect," Reed said. "It was nice whenever I saw it roll up the hill and I saw it come back down because I thought, 'All right, we have about five, seven feet for birdie.' Didn't know it was a couple inches, which was nice."

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