The weather at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Saturday was cool, but docile for the Northwest coast of Scotland during this time of year, and the scores reflected it. After winning The Quicken Loans National a couple of weeks ago at Congressional, Justin Rose said he had misplaced his game somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, but has somehow reached the finale’ at Royal Aberdeen with a piece of the lead.
It took a bogey at the 18th hole by 33 year-old Marc Warren, who is a Scot from Rutherglen, Scotland but both Warren, and Rose will play in the final group on Sunday, and are tied at -10 under par for the week.
The 2013 US Open Champion got off to a slow start with only one birdie on Saturday, but seem to elevate his game after making the turn at one under par 35.
Consecutive birdies at 10, 11, & 12 pushed Justin Rose up the leaderboard and into contention. He would make a bogey at 14, where almost everyone was making bogeys, before grabbing two more birdies at 15 and 16. He finished his round with five under par 66, and a share of the overnight lead.
“Today and my second round at Congressional are two of the best rounds I have played all year. I’m really happy with the way the game has progressed throughout the week.
“I fell asleep on my second shot to 14 after a perfect drive and made bogey there but gave myself a good talking to on the 15th,” added Rose, who admitted a victory at Royal Aberdeen would continue his habit of winning on tough courses.
Marc Warren hasn’t won on the European Tour since 2007, but has two wins. He was close in this event at Castle Stuart in 2012, but lost a three-shot lead in the finale’.
Warren struggled again on Saturday after a brilliant front nine, and making the turn at four under. He added birdies at 10, and 13 before a bogey at 14, but it was the bogey at 18 where he lost the one-shot advantage.
“On the front nine I played really well, really in control of what I was doing,” Warren said after a round of 67 saw him pick up six shots in his first 13 holes before two late bogeys.
“It was a little bit scrappy towards the end there but I’m tied going into tomorrow and playing with a Major Champion. I’m in a great position, a very exciting position as well.
The links course at Aberdeen, and the Scottish weather will not let too many, who are too far back to climb the hill on Sunday, but 27 year-old Kristoffer Broberg from Sweden is only one shot back, and will play alongside Brit, Tyrell Hatton in the finale’. Hatton shot a five under 66 on Saturday, and is only three shots off the pace.
Other notables in the field including Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson are still in the tournament, but for all practical purposes are too far back to catch the leaders on Sunday.
Rory and Rickie Fowler shot matching three under par 68’s and the defending champ got in at one under on the day, but none of them are putting particularly well at this point, and barring a miracle, are looking to next week at Hoylake, and a date with Tiger Woods.