• Scottish Open

McIlroy recovers but it's Rose's to lose in Aberdeen

ESPN staff
July 12, 2014
Justin Rose plays his approach to the first as a ship watches on from the North Sea © Getty Images

A best-of-the-day 66 saw Justin Rose into a share of the lead headed into the final round of the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.

Rose, who at Congressional two weeks ago won his first title since the 2013 US Open, rolled home six birdies and a solitary birdie to move to 10-under, where he is joined by Marc Warren after the Scot's 68.

The pair lead Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg by one, while England's Tyrrell Hatton is two further back at seven-under.

Rory recovery

Rory McIlroy carded a three-under 68 © Getty Images
  • Rory McIlroy recovered some ground with a three-under 68 in Saturday's third round at the Scottish Open.
  • McIlroy had carded a course-record 64 on the opening day, before following it up with a seven-over 78 to continue his Friday woes this season.
  • McIlroy bogeyed the opening hole, before picking up birdies at three, five and six to turn in 34. He added one more at 16 to end the day at three-under par and seven behind leaders Justin Rose and Marc Warren.
  • "I didn't get off to a great start, being one over through two holes when you are looking to be one under, but after that I played very solidly and did not put myself in too much trouble," McIlroy said.
  • "I have shot 64 and 68 on this course which are two really good scores. Yesterday was just one of those days when nothing went right and I could not get any momentum.
  • "It would be good to shoot another good round tomorrow, but I have seen enough in my game to give me confidence going into the Open."
  • Defending champion Phil Mickelson eagled the par-5 sixth for the second time this week, but bogeys at two bogeys in his final three holes saw him stumble to a one-under 70 and eight shots off the pace.

Rose, who along with Warren are the only two players to shoot three rounds in the 60s, said: "I came here on Wednesday and felt absolutely horrendous but the last couple of days I have been finding my feet again and that's part of the reason for playing here.

"Today and my second round at Congressional are two of the best rounds I have played all year. I'm really happy with the way the game has progressed throughout the week.

"It would be great to win tomorrow. I'm on a nice run at the moment and to keep it going would be fantastic. I'm still really enjoying the links golf and I think that's what I came here to do, just keep playing the game and keep trying to work out the shots.

"But obviously there will come a point tomorrow where you have to win a golf tournament. I'm looking forward to it. I said at the beginning of the week, just to be in contention this week and sharpening your skills under pressure will be a fantastic opportunity going into the Open next week."

Rose was in danger of falling off the pace with just one birdie on his front nine, but a run of three straight gains from the 10th were followed by two more at 15 and 16 to surge to the top of the leaderboard.

Rose added a victory at Royal Aberdeen would continue his habit of winning on tough courses.

"It would definitely hold its own amongst the courses I have won on. That's definitely been my M.O. recently; of the tournaments I've managed to win they have all been on pretty stout tests. I'd take pride in winning on a links course for sure."

Warren has not won on the European Tour since 2007, is looking to make up for two years ago when he saw a three-shot lead with four holes to play evaporate in this event at Castle Stuart.

"It was a little bit scrappy but I'm tied going into tomorrow and playing with a major champion," he said.

"For us Scottish guys it doesn't get much better than this. It's our fifth major."

Scottish Open leaderboard

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close