Two major champions, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, have positioned themselves to make a run at the gold medal in Sunday’s final round of the men’s Olympic golf competition.
England’s Rose, a former U.S. Open champion, shot a six-under par 65 on the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday to secure the 54-hole lead at 12-under par 201.
“It was tough out there today,” Rose said. “Some of the course setup was pretty hard. To shoot 65 was great. But that’s what this golf course gives you. It gives you a mix of birdie holes and really tough holes.”
Rose said a gold medal would be on a par with his U.S. Open victory at Merion in 2013. “It compares, especially in that it’s only once every four years,” Rose said. “It’s a moment you want to take advantage of, of course. Obviously, I’m delighted to have played well for three days and to give myself that look tomorrow.”
Stenson, the Swede who won the British Open last month, climbed into second place and within a stroke of the lead with a round of two-under par 69.
Australia’s Marcus Fraser, the 18 and 36-hole leader, stumbled to a one-over par 72 and third place, three behind Rose but three clear of a foursome tied for fourth.
Among them is Bubba Watson, who played himself into medal contention by virtue of a four-under par 67. He will start the final round six shots behind Rose. Matt Kuchar, meanwhile, shot 69 and is tied for eighth, seven shots back.
Rickie Fowler had the best round of the day, a seven-under par 64 to climb into a tie for 14th. Patrick Reed went in the other direction, shooting a two-over 73 and is tied for 36th.