Carnoustie - Justin
Rose's last-gasp birdie that saw him sneak him into the weekend at The Open galvanised the Olympic champion into a sublime
seven-under-par 64 on Saturday that gave him a glimmer of hope that he
can go on and win the title.
The 37-year-old equalled the record
low round for a British Open at Carnoustie, and at four under par for
the tournament he can dream realistically of achieving what he set out
to do at the beginning of the week - becoming the first Englishman
since Nick Faldo in 1992 to lift the Claret Jug.
Rose, whose best
finish at The Open remains his tied fourth as an amateur in 1998, said
he had had nothing to lose when he set out early on Saturday nine shots
off overnight leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, both from the
"I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up,
and I'm just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the
road somewhere else this morning," said Rose.
"So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. Obviously, I had nothing to lose from that point of view."
only major to date is the 2013 US Open, although he came agonisingly
close at the Masters last year before losing to Sergio Garcia in a
He said scraping through with that 13-foot birdie on the last hole on Friday had provoked a swirl of mixed emotions.
"Gratitude just to be here," he admitted.
think the first couple of days were hard work and frustrating. But then
there's a difference between being three-over on Friday and way off the
lead, and three-over and way off the lead on Saturday morning.
"You kind of feel a bit more grateful to be here rather than Friday night, you feel frustrated to be there."
who is the reigning Olympic champion having triumphed in Rio de Janeiro
in 2016, said that his performance on Saturday also showed that he had
slipped into the right gear mentally after two days of not quite having
the right focus.
"I kept it together mentally, I guess
concentrated well today," he said after a round that did not feature a
single dropped shot.
"I felt a bit more in control with my game
and my swing too. So to keep a clean sheet on this course obviously
leads to good stuff."
As he hoped the clement weather conditions
might change for when the leaders went out later, Rose said birdies at
the final two holes had at least made his final round on Sunday more
than a case of just going through the motions.
"I felt like those late couple birdies certainly will make tomorrow at least interesting."