Justin Rose: 62 possible on US PGA course that's 'there for the taking'

Justin Rose predicted that the first 62 in major championship history was a real possibility after carding a 66 in the third round of the US PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

Rose celebrated his 36th birthday by recovering from a bogey on the opening hole to card five birdies and improve to two under par for the tournament, having made the halfway cut on the mark of two over par.

"The birthday present was last night, making the cut," the former US Open champion said. "When I tapped in to finish my round I felt like I was going to make the cut but as the day went on I felt I was going to miss it and we sweated it."

The top 70 players and ties qualified for the weekend, with 69 eventually finishing on one over par to let the likes of Rose, Ernie Els and Matt Fitzpatrick make the final two rounds.

Justin Rose: 62 possible on US PGA course that's 'there for the taking'

"It was one of the tightest cuts I've seen, incredibly close, but I was very happy to be out here today and made the most of it, which was fun," Rose added.

"I've just got a vague feeling there might be a 62 today. I'm not saying it's that easy, but anyone who gets under par through the first six or seven holes, it's on. The course is there for the taking and the back nine is full of chances.

"I actually didn't play that well to be honest and putted unbelievably well, which was so much fun. It's what I've been working hard on and today was one of the first days I've really seen a great deal of progress."

Rose has won at least one event worldwide every year since 2010, but the Ryder Cup star has yet to taste victory in a frustrating 2016 campaign hampered by a back injury.

"It's definitely on my mind for sure," the world number 11 added. "I've got to look at 2011 which wasn't a particularly good year and then I won the BMW Championship and turned it into a great year.

"It can happen any week. I'm aware time is running out but I feel a few things in my game are beginning to click and when they do I know I'm going to be in contention and then you hope to put it away."

Fitzpatrick could not match Rose's score but a second consecutive 70 at least represented progress after missing the cut in his last four events.

The 21-year-old currently occupies the final Ryder Cup qualifying place and was told earlier this week to "relax" by European captain Darren Clarke, who has still been impressed by Fitzpatrick's statistics in his poor run since winning the Nordea Masters in June.

"Darren knows best and always tells me that, but it's just difficult when every putt means a lot and it's almost one of those things where you try too hard. It's annoying at the minute but you've just got to keep working at it."

Halfway leaders Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb were not due out until almost 3pm local time (8pm BST), the pair having equalled the lowest halfway total (131) in US PGA history.

Streb had also become the 28th player to shoot 63 in a major - and third in the space of 16 days after Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson at the Open - with his second round, which contained eight birdies and a solitary bogey.

Defending champion Jason Day and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo were two shots off the lead after rounds of 65 and 67 respectively, Day recovering from a double bogey on the seventh to birdie seven of the next eight holes.

And Open champion Stenson was just a shot further back in his bid to win two major titles in the space of three weeks after carding a second consecutive 67.


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