European Tour

Rose on the rise at Wentworth

Justin Rose (AFP)
Justin Rose (AFP)

Wentworth - Justin Rose Rose made a blistering start to his delayed third round of the European PGA Championship at a rain-hit Wentworth on Saturday.

The Englishman birdied four of the first five holes after beginning the day ten shots behind joint overnight leaders Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Irishman Shane Lowry.

Reigning US Open champion Rose, preparing to defend his title in North Carolina next month, climbed up the leaderboard to four under.

He shrugged off the disappointment of a dropped shot at the opening hole to then thrill the home fans with his skill and touch on the greens.

The 33-year-old seemed to bloom when the sun came out as he birdied the par three second hole before rattling in a long putt on the third.

He holed fine putts at both the fourth and fifth to threaten to move into contention as the leaders waited frustratingly in the clubhouse for their chance.

Scotland's Stephen Gallacher and Frenchmen Alexander Levy were other early big movers after heavy rain had caused a three-hour delay to the start of the third day.

The planned pairs became three-balls with the first golfers finally hitting a ball in anger at 10:05 am.

The wet stuff, which had drenched the old course, eventually relented but it meant it was playing long with less run on the fairways and greens.

Wentworth's legion of groundsmen and women worked wonders with their Water Hogs and squeegies to soak up much of the rain.

But conditions still suited the long-hitters with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts helping himself to three birdies. Unfortunately, he mixed it with just as many bogies and could only manage a 72.

Gallacher, however, was not in the mood to switch into reverse gear after applying the accelerator. Four birdies in five holes saw him move from two over to two under.

He was on fire picking up shots at the fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth holes.

Levy produced a stunning opening volley of birdies, nailing four of them from the third to the sixth to charge up to three under for the tournament as the fans began to dry out a little and were rewarded for their patience.

Australia's Richard Green and England's Simon Dyson joined the birdie trail as well with more and more players beginning to feel they could make an impact on the leaderboard.

Green moved to three under with two in his first four holes and Dyson also had a brace of early birdies. South African Thomas Aiken crept from four to five under with an opening hole birdie.

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