The Sunday Post (Newcastle)
Rose will have to battle history if he is finally able to slip on the Green Jacket
Jordan may just be the man to stop Englishman
History was against Justin Rose as he attempted to win a second major title at the 85th Masters.
Adding a second round of 72 to his opening 65 meant Rose was the eighth player since 1980 to lead outright after each of the first two rounds at Augusta National, but only one of the previous seven went on to win.
That man was 2015 champion Jordan Spieth, who went into the third round two shots off the pace following a 68 on Friday, with Will Zalatoris and Brian Harman the closest challengers to Rose on six-under-par.
Spieth was also the last man former US Open champion Rose will have wanted to see in his rear-view mirror thanks to the three-time major winner’s brilliant record at Augusta.
The 27-year-old finished second on his debut in 2014, led from start to finish in 2015 – Rose was joint second with Phil Mickelson – and finished runner-up the following year after squandering a five-shot lead with nine holes to play.
In 2018, Spieth led after 18 holes for the third time in four years before almost snatching the green jacket away from Patrick Reed with a closing 64.
A loss of form saw the former world No. 1 slump to 92nd in the rankings as recently as February, but Sunday’s victory in the Valero Texas Open made him one of the pre-event favourites, a status he justified with rounds of 71 and 68 over the first two days.
With the wind forecast to pick up in late afternoon, the early starters had the chance to make a potentially significant move up the
‘ Spieth was the last man former US Open champion Rose wanted to see in his rear-view mirror
leaderboard, but the first group out of Ian Poulter and Paul Casey could only manage rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.
Poulter’s four birdies were cancelled out by four bogeys, while Casey also carded four birdies but five bogeys, the last coming on the 18th after pushing his approach into a greenside bunker following an ideal drive.
Scotland’s Martin Laird made the ideal start to his third round as he looked to move into contention on the traditional moving day in Georgia.
Laird birdied the first two holes at Augusta National to move into red figures on oneunder-par. However a bogey at seven took him back to level-par at the turn and once again seven shots behind halfway leader Justin Rose.
His fellow-Scot, Oban’s Bob MacIntyre made three birdies
– but also two bogeys – in his opening six holes to improve to one-under-par for the tournament as he contined to impress on his debut outing at The Masters.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who made a hole-in-one at the 16th in the first round, also got off to a fast start with birdies on the second and third to improve to two-under.
But after three and a half hours of play, no-one on the course was better than three-under for the day, threetime Masters champion Phil Mickelson reaching that mark with a birdie on the 13th.
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