Justin Rose took the overall lead after golf’s third round at Rio 2016 but doesn’t want people to start putting the first Olympic gold in the sport for 112 years around his neck just yet.
After a solid first two rounds, Rose carded a 65 with his third round for -12 to move into first place, one shot ahead of Henrik Stenson and three ahead of previous leader Marcus Fraser.
Golf hasn’t been seen at the Olympic Games since St Louis 1904 but Rose will erase his first three rounds and start anew ahead of the decisive – and historic – fourth round.
“It was a really good day. It was not the easiest day out there in terms of conditions but it was a great round of golf and super excited about getting myself right into the position I wanted to be,” said Rose.
“The top three have really separated themselves from the rest of the pack so it is going to be a fun last group. Obviously everyone is going to have their eyes on the last three balls with it being for gold, silver and bronze.
“Obviously Henrik [Stenson] is playing great golf but the one shot lead doesn’t mean that much right now, it is about drawing a line in the sand and coming out tomorrow.
“Like other sports, once you are in the final all the heats mean nothing. It is about playing a great final round and bringing your best when you need it. That is going to be my mindset overnight and I will come out tomorrow and try to build another fresh round of golf.”
Meanwhile teammate Danny Willett admits he might have left himself with too much to do to claim one of the three historic medals but is ready to take risks should his fortunes change.
Willett carded a 69 on his third round to go -3 and will gage his chances early on in the last round, happy to think outside the box if the slightest ray of hope arises.
“It is going to need a pretty special one if we are going to get anywhere near that podium,” he said. “After three days we have left ourselves with a little bit too much work to do so we are going to have to go out there and shoot pretty low.
“It all depends on just how far in front the lads get, if they are within five or six, you never know, but any more than that and you starting stretch out a little bit too much.
“I am going to have to keep playing well and see, it is one of those where if you come out the blocks and start going low early then you have probably got to press and keep pressing and take a few of risks that you might not ordinarily take.
“Because it is only the top three that count here hopefully if you get off to a quick start you can press a little bit and see what happens.”