Rose pleased to rediscover form
8:06pm Saturday 12th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Justin Rose felt he had lost his game somewhere over the Atlantic when he arrived for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen on Wednesday.
Four days later the former US Open champion will take a share of the lead with Scotland's Marc Warren into the final round after a superb third round of 66.
Rose, who won the Quicken Loans National a fortnight ago, said: "I came here on Wednesday and felt absolutely horrendous but the last couple of days I have been finding my feet again and that's part of the reason for playing here.
"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.
"It would be great to win tomorrow. I'm on a nice run at the moment and to keep it going would be fantastic. I'm still really enjoying the links golf and I think that's what I came here to do, just keep playing the game and keep trying to work out the shots.
"But obviously there will come a point tomorrow where you have to win a golf tournament. I'm looking forward to it. I said at the beginning of the week, just to be in contention this week and sharpening your skills under pressure will be a fantastic opportunity going into the Open next week."
Rose was in danger of falling off the pace when he managed just one birdie on the front nine, which was again playing the easiest part of the course due to the direction of the wind.
But the 33-year-old then carded a hat-trick of birdies from the 10th and recovered from his only bogey of the day on the 14th with two more on the 15th and 16th for a back nine of 31, the lowest of the day.
"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.
"It would definitely hold its own amongst the courses I have won on. That's definitely been my M.O. recently; of the tournaments I've managed to win they have all been on pretty stout tests. I'd take pride in winning on a links course for sure."
Warren has won twice on the European Tour, but the most recent of those was back in 2007 and the 33-year-old will have to blank out the memories of several near-misses since.
He bogeyed four of the last five holes to miss out on the Spanish Open title in 2013 and a month later lost a play-off for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but most famously squandered a three-shot lead with four holes to play in this event at Castle Stuart in 2012.
"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.
"For us Scottish guys it doesn't get much better than this. It's our fifth major. I've been in this situation before, so once the gun goes I'll be ready to do my job.
"Winning's never easy. It always seems to be the most difficult thing but if you're going to go through a couple of tough holes, it's great to have the home fans behind you, just give that you one per cent that you need to go over the finishing line."
At 10 under par, Rose and Warren held a one-shot lead over Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg, with England's Tyrrell Hatton two shots further back after matching Rose's 66.
Scotland's Craig Lee also returned a 66 to lie six under alongside overnight joint leader Ricardo Gonzalez, who bogeyed three of his last seven holes in a 71. Rory McIlroy is seven off the lead after a 68 and defending champion Phil Mickelson another shot back after bogeys on the 16th and 18th in a round of 70.