Rio 2016: Justin Rose leads the way with one round to play

Rose, Henrik Stenson and Marcus Fraser have clear air between their competitors in the medal positions.

Rio 2016: Justin Rose leads the way with one round to play
Justin Rose is 18 holes away from a historic gold medal (Photo: Getty Images)

Two eagles in three holes provided the catalyst for Team GB's Justin Rose to take the lead in the Olympic golf competition after three rounds of play. 

Rose soars like an eagle

Rose made an inconsistent start with a birdie on one and bogey on two, before he pulled out two sublime holes on three and five to set up his round. On the par four third hole, an excellent tee shot left him just off the green, before Rose chipped in on his second shot. He then continued that form in hole five after finding the green in two and holing an 18 foot putt for his second eagle.

It took until hole quality until Rose increased his score with a birdie, before being pegged back when he dropped a shot two holes later. Yet birdies on 15 and 16 ensured Rose finished on a six under 65 for the day, taking him to 12 under par and top of the leaderboard for the competition. 

Whilst Rose got off to a flyer, his now closest rival Henrik Stenson had a lacklustre start to proceedings. The Swede made two bogeys on the front nine, though a similar eagle to his rival on five kept him in contention. A more settled back nine with three birdies left Stenson one shot behind Rose going into the final round. 

Early pacesetter Marcus Fraser completes the current medal positions but will be disappointed with a round of one over par as he dropped three strokes behind Rose. The putts were not dropping for the Australian as he went round with just one birdie and two bogeys.

Marcus Fraser is beginning to fall away (Photo: Getty Images)
Marcus Fraser is beginning to fall away (Photo: Getty Images)

Team USA fight back

After a weak start to the tournament, the Americans were in fine form as they made a late charge to try and steal a medal. Rickie Fowler was the biggest mover of the day after seven birdies and an eagle lifted him from 50th position into tied fourteenth, although he is six strokes off the medals and he may pay for a shocking opening round on Thursday.

Matt Kuchar played a round of two under to leave him five under par for the competition, but Bubba Watson is in the best position to win a medal for Team USA. Four birdies in five holes set him up for a four under 67, leaving him fourth three shots outside the medals. He is joined on that score by Sweden's David Lingmerth and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo who lost his clubs earlier in the week.

One man who will like to forget the day's play in a hurry is Belgium's Thomas Pieters. After starting the day in the silver medal position, Pieters had a disastrous round of four bogeys and three double bogeys to drop him down to tied fourteenth on three under par.

All eyes will be on Justin Rose tomorrow as he looks to create history and become the first modern golfing Olympics gold medalist.