CROMWELL, Conn. » Justin Rose closed in on his second straight PGA Tour victory yesterday, shooting a 2-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead over Ben Curtis into the final round of the Travelers Championship.
Rose, the 29-year-old Englishman who won the Memorial three weeks ago but then failed to qualify for the U.S. Open, had a 16-under 194 total at TPC River Highlands after setting the tournament 36-hole record with rounds of 64 and 62.
"It was just a day when nothing went in on the greens at all," said Rose, a stroke off the best 54-hole total in tournament history. "The tale of the day was that I made nothing on the greens. The longest putt I made was 4 feet, 10 inches for par on 17.
"So, I’m really happy to have a day like that on the greens and still shoot 68 and still maintain my lead."
Curtis, the 2003 British Open champion, shot a 64. Vaughn Taylor (67) was 11 under, and Ricky Barnes (64), Scott McCarron (66), Brendon de Jonge (67), Bubba Watson (67), Matt Jones (68), Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin (69) and Bill Lunde (69) were 10 under.
Charlie Wi cut Rose’s lead—four strokes after the first two days—to two early in the round, but that was as close as Wi or anyone else could get.
Rose birdied Nos. 5 and 6 to open a six-stroke lead before Curtis—seven strokes back at the start of the round—pulled within three with five back-nine birdies.
"I thought the start was key for me today," Rose said. "I hit a lot of good shots early in my round. Birdies at 5 and 6 really felt like it got the round going and brought me back into the comfort zone."
Rose drove into the water on the 13th hole en route to his first bogey in 37 holes.
"I had only one real bad swing—on the tee on 13," Rose said. "There was a little bit of wait there. It was just a bit of a slack tee shot, I suppose. After that, I played really well. I bounced back well from the only bogey of the day."
Forsman seizes lead
Dan Forsman shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Brad Bryant after the second round of the Champions Tour’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.
Forsman was at 12-under 132 and lucky to be there alone after Bryant (67) bogeyed the final hole. Russ Cochran (66) and first-round leader Wayne Levi (69) were 10 under.
Tubert wins Publinx
Emily Tubert won the Women’s Amateur Public Links, beating Lisa McCloskey 3 and 2 in the 36-hole final at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.
Tubert, an 18-year-old Arkansas recruit from Burbank, Calif., won seven straight holes to take a 5-up lead after 12. McCloskey, from Houston, is coming off her sophomore season at Southern California.
Dredge pulling away
Wales’ Bradley Dredge extended his BMW International Open lead to three strokes, shooting a 5-under 67 in the third round in Munich.
Dredge, a two-time European tour winner, had an 18-under 197 total. England’s Ross Fisher (66) and Ireland’s Simon Thornton (67) were tied for second.
Fujikawa ties for 23rd
Hawaii’s Tadd Fujikawa closed with a 4-under 68 yesterday in the eGolf Tour’s Bushnell Championship in Carthage, N.C., for an 11-under 276 total, 10 strokes behind winner Jason Kokrak.
Fujikawa earned $2,447.83 to increase his season winnings to $24,026.52, good for 23rd on the tour’s money list with seven events to go. The tour pays the PGA Tour Q-School fees for its top 20 money winners.