• US PGA Championship

Rose left to rue late blip at Valhalla

Charlie Lemay
August 9, 2014
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Justin Rose was left to rue late mistakes as his charge at the leaders of the US PGA Championship was halted abruptly by bogeys at 15 and 16.

Rose's third round at Valhalla started promisingly with four birdies in his opening seven holes to go out in 31, but just as he was expected to push on, his game started to unravel.

The wind had been taken out of the Englishman's sails but he rallied with a stunning approach to 18 to set up a tap-in birdie and sign for a four-under 67.

Rose's spirits will be lifted slightly, but soft greens will promote low scoring this afternoon and the 2013 US Open champion will need to rely on leader Rory McIlroy having a slow day to stand a chance.

"I had it going, five-under through 13, so I was looking to get it to maybe seven- or eight-under for the round and who knows where that would put me going into tomorrow," said Rose.

"I would say the winning score is going to be 16-under, somewhere in that realm. When you start even par you've got to go all guns blazing. I felt like I could have got halfway there today, but it wasn't to be."

Welshman Jamie Donaldson will lead the British contingency that isn't Rory McIlroy going into the final day after the Welshman carded a stunning 66 to move to eight-under par and just two off the pace at Valhalla.

Donaldson holed three birdies and two bogeys in his opening six holes, before back-to-back birdies at nine and 10 were complemented by further gains at 16 and 18 - including a stunning second shot from the fairway bunker that set up 10 feet for eagle that lipped out.

Lee Westwood remains very much in with a shout but, like Rose, will head to his hotel this evening a frustrated man. An eagle two at the fourth along with birdies at nine, 12, 14 and 18 could have told a very different story but for dropped shots at eight, 10, 11 and 16. Westwood will begin the final round at seven-under par.

Compatriot Danny Willett ended the third round just outside the top-10 after a 66, but he too will be disappointed with his final few holes.

Having rolled home birdies at two and three before chipping in for eagle at the par-4 fourth - playing at just 292 yards for the third round - Willett added further gains at 10 and 13 and was suddenly within touching distance of the major championship 18-hole record of 63.

But Willett, with just a single European Tour victory to his name, bogeyed the par-3 14th before parring his way home.

Ian Poulter wait for a maiden major championship will continue after a level-par 71 that included two birdies and two bogeys left him at one-under for the championship.

Poulter had opened with a 68 on Thursday before getting himself tangled in a row with his Twitter followers after a series of rants at British Airways on Friday ahead of a second-round 73.

Luke Donald recovered from two bogeys in his opening two holes to card a 68 thanks to birdies at three, nine, 13, 15 and 18 to move to three-under but the 36-year-old's wait for a major title will also continue.

Graeme McDowell is also firmly out of the running after carding an eight on the par-4 13th en route to a 71 that leaves the Northern Irishman one-over par for the tournament.

"I played beautifully this morning, it's so disappointing to make an elementary quadruple bogey, a card-wrecker, tournament-wrecker, weekend-wrecker, all of the above really," said McDowell.

"It's a slog out there when you are only moving it 280 (yards) off the tee. You say 'only' 280 but it really is in this day and age when Jason Day is flying it 320, Rory is flying it 330. I am four shots behind these guys before I tee it up each day so I have to play very well elsewhere which I just haven't done."

Colin Montgomerie, a two-time major champion on the senior tour this year, had an up-and-down third round, shooting a round of 72 that included five birdies and six bogeys.

It was a better day for fellow Scot Marc Warren, who finished with three straight birdies to add to gains at the first, fourth and 14th to record an impressive 66 which moves him to five-under par and well in with a shout of making a move on the final day.

Irishman Shane Lowry carded a second consecutive 74, with bogeys at one and 14 and a double at six offset by just a single birdie. Only American Brendon Todd is keeping Lowry off the bottom of the leaderboard.

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