Rose takes lead with 65PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Justin Rose wasn’t exactly feelin’ it after the first 27 holes of the Transitions Championship, but then he thought about his wife Kate making the drive from Orlando and decided he needed to do something to make the trip worth it for her. It seems to have worked quite well as Rose is the 54-hole leader after a second consecutive 65 on Saturday got him to 13 under par 200. He leads by one over Brendon de Jonge and Webb Simpson.
Rose posted a 61 if you combined his final nine holes on Friday with his first nine on Saturday and that helped propel him to the top spot. He has played well all year, finishing in the top-25 in five of his first six starts.
“First 27 holes of the tournament, I had to be really patient,” Rose said. “Knew I was playing well. Wasn't getting much out of it. Obviously the next combined 18 went really hot and a little bit of the same the last nine holes. I had to be patient again. But this is a golf course that it's easy to be patient on really, in terms of if you hit in the middle of the green, you 2-putt for par, you know you're not being lapped by the rest of the field; it's not Disney from that type of scoring perspective.
“I was pretty comfortable on the back nine just doing what I'm doing and waiting for the chances to come and it was certainly nice to finish through one on 18.”
De Jonge wrapped up his day by knocking in a long putt at the last and that was sure to make dinner taste better.
“I had almost an uphill putt there, so I was able to be a bit more aggressive,” he said.
Gary Woodland and PGA Tour rookie Scott Stallings share fourth at 11-under while Nick Watney, Brandt Snedeker and second-round co-leader Chris Couch share sixth at minus-10.
Watney posted a lackluster 72 in the second round, but he improved with a 65 in the third and got himself into contention at 10-under, three behind Rose.
“I just feel much more fresh today,” Watney said after his 65. “Yesterday, I don't know, it was just a very flat -- I don't know if it was kind of a letdown or tired or what, but just very flat, very sloppy all day. So today was just completely different as far as energy level and stuff like that.”
Rose has tried to do less off-course work this week, feeling he perhaps had a bit of overload at the WGC event last week. The added family time seems to have helped.
“I mean, obviously the facilities here are great for families,” Rose said. “My little boy playing all yesterday afternoon in that Loch Ness pool, great for the kids. They can have a ball. It's a good way for me to get away from the game, as well, family time, taking time out and getting away from the thoughts of practice and this and that.”
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