(Reuters) - Scot Marc Warren is eyeing a home triumph at the Scottish Open but will have to hold off the formidable challenge of the 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose to prevail at Royal Aberdeen.
Warren hit a four-under par 67 on Saturday to reach 10-under for a total of 203 after the third round, good enough to hold first place in a tie with England’s Rose, who went one better with a five-under 66.
Warren last won on the European Tour in 2007, and gave up a three shot lead with four holes to play at the Scottish Open in 2012, leaving him hungry to taste success in front of his home fans.
“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,” the 33-year-told the European Tour website.
”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 percent that you need to go over the finishing line.”
Rose, fresh off victory in the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National a fortnight ago, said Saturday’s effort, along with the second round in Maryland, was the best he had played all year.
“It would be great to win tomorrow,” he said.
“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.”
Warren and Rose are a shot ahead of Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg (68), with England’s Tyrrell Hatton (66) two shots further back at the traditional curtain-raiser to next week’s British Open.
Reporting by Josh Reich, editing by Pritha Sarkar