Rose leads Stenson by 1 going into final round

RSS

Thanks to a round of 6-under 65 and not one but two eagles, Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead over Henrik Stenson into the final round of the Olympic men's golf tournament. Here's where things stand through 54 holes in Rio de Janeiro:

Leaderboard: Rose (-12), Stenson (-11), Marcus Fraser (-9), Bubba Watson (-6), David Lingmerth (-6), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Padraig Harrington (-5), Matt Kuchar (-5), Gregory Bourdy (-5), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-5) 

What it means: Rose is looking for his 16th career victory and the first gold medal awarded for golf in 112 years. The 2013 U.S. Open champion has at least one worldwide win in each of the last six years and is looking for his first of 2016. A victory Sunday would give him at least one win on each of the six playable continents. He'll face a stiff test from Henrik Stenson, who teamed with Rose in the 2014 Ryder Cup to go an undefeated 3-0-0 and set a record for birdies in a single fourballs match, with 12 as a team and 21 combined. Stenson is less than a month removed from his historic triumph at The Open and has worked himself to third place or better through 54 holes in four of his last five events. The only golfer to win a gold medal and a major championship is Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who won two gold medals in track and field in the 1932 Summer Olympics before turning to golf and winning 10 women's majors. Playing with Rose and Stenson in the final group will be Marcus Fraser, the the 18- and 36-hole leader who was sixth on the Australian Olympic list. Thanks to the withdrawals of Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones, Fraser is in line for a medal. As he tries to hunt down Rose, Stenson and the gold medal, he'll face pressure from the players behind him who are looking to snag bronze or better.

Round of the day: Rickie Fowler kept saying he was "close," and he proved it Saturday, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64. Four under through his first eight holes, Fowler posted the first 29 in Olympic history when this approach from 73 yards at the par-4 ninth found the hole.

Fowler looked like he has about to go on 59 watch when he added another birdie at 10 to reach 7 under, but that's when his momentum slowed. Playing the hardest stretch of the course, Fowler parred Nos. 11-13 before backing up with birdies at 14 and 15. Two closing birdies on his final two holes got him to 3 under for the week and in position for, as he put it, a "backdoor medal."

Best of the rest: Rose took the outright lead with a round of 6-under 65 that featured two eagles in his first five holes. Following a birdie at 1 and a bogey at 2, Rose pitched in for a 2 on No. 3 and rolled in an 18-footer for 3 at the par-5 fifth.

He added three more birdies and a bogey on his back nine to take a one-shot advantage over Stenson heading into Sunday.

Biggest disappointment: Playing in the final group with Fraser and Stenson, Thomas Pieters' too-colorful scorecard included four birdies, four bogeys and three doubles for for a 6-over 77. Just one back to start the day, he'll enter the final round nine behind Rose.

Shot of the day: Following in Rose's footsteps, South Africa's Jaco Van Zyl recorded the second hole-in-one in Olympic history with an ace from 173 yards at the par-3 8th.

Gaffe of the day: With a look at birdie from about 40 feet at the par-4 14th, Watson somehow duffed a putt. Watson explained after the round that some mud had rubbed off his putter and onto his ball and that he was unable to stop his putter head in time.

Quote of the day: "Mud ball, for sure," - Watson on what happened at 14, to the delight of those on social media