ARDMORE, Pa. – Justin Rose sank a curling eight-foot par putt on Merion’s final hole in the Friday night gloaming and pumped his fist. Not just because he had successfully traversed the difficult finishing hole, but because he was done with his second round.
With a 1-under 69 in the books that gave him a share of third place behind co-leaders Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel, Rose was pleased that he wouldn’t have to return to finish on Saturday morning.
“I think it could be worth shots tomorrow, there's no doubt,” he said. “Being off late for my third round, so I have to come out for a [7:15] restart and kill seven or eight hours before I have to play again. It's very difficult to go back to bed and then get up and feel kind of energetic and to be able to prepare properly for my round tomorrow is huge.”
Rose opened with a pair of birdies on his first two holes, then added one more during the round, sandwiched by a pair of bogeys. The world’s fifth-ranked player, he finds himself in position to contend for his first career major championship title.