NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Here are three things we know entering Sunday’s final round of the BMW Championship:
- Justin Rose is the current leader at 17-under.
- The weather is supposed to turn ugly, with buckets of rain in the forecast.
- You can live-bet Rose to win this tournament at +165.
Considering this is the penultimate tournament of the season, and there isn’t another tournament this coming week, and spots in the Tour Championship field are on the line … the PGA Tour will do everything in its power to complete this event as a 72-hole finish.
But … it might not be within the tour’s power.
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Mother Nature could win this match, 9 and 8, while the 69 competitors in the field sit idly by and watch a lot of football while never hitting another shot for the rest of the tournament.
Even Rose understands what’s at stake — or what might not be at stake, as the case may be.
“I’ll take the two-day washout, of course,” he said with a laugh. “Can’t sleep on that thought. … As soon as I kind of start my preparation and mindset for the tomorrow, I’ve got to be ready to play and come out in the morning, full game-face mode tomorrow.”
Even before Saturday’s third round, Rose knew about the possibility of a washout and played accordingly, trying to dial in his aggressive side.
He birdied four of the first five holes en route to a front-nine 29, then simply held on during the back nine, posting nine pars to claim a one-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele.
Rose admitted that the thought of a 54-hole shortened event was running through his mind as he was standing over his par attempt on the final hole.
“It was definitely in the back of your mind,” he explained. “You could start to feel the weather coming in and getting darker. Kind of had the feel there’s some big weather coming. I said to my caddie, ‘How about tomorrow?’ [He said], ‘Just got to get through today and we’ll have a round of golf to play tomorrow in our minds.’ Absolutely I was trying to make the putt on 18 to make sure I was ahead of the field and Xander hit a good putt. It spun out. I was trying to get by today.”
Rose now has two chances to win this tournament.
He can play another round and maintain his lead, or he can be declared the winner if the final round is ultimately washed out.
For Rose backers, that’s also two chances to win. Which might be worth upping the ante.