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Rose grabs BMW Championship lead

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Justin Rose of England (Gregory Shamus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Justin Rose of England (Gregory Shamus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Britain’s Justin Rose could claim the world number one ranking after firing a six-under par 64 Saturday to seize a one-stroke lead entering the final round of the PGA BMW Championship.

The 38-year-old Englishman nabbed six birdies over the opening nine holes and parred through the inward nine to stand on 17-under par 193 after 54 holes at rainy Aronimink Golf Club.

American Xander Schauffele, who led after a second-round 64, was level with Rose until a closing bogey to finish a round of 67 to stand on 194 with four-time major champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.

“A one-shot lead doesn’t really mean much and it doesn’t change my approach tomorrow as I just have to play better than the guys around me,” Rose said.

Fourth-ranked Rose would move to world number one for the first time in his career with a victory unless either top-ranked Dustin Johnson or second-ranked Brooks Koepka, who share 33rd after three rounds, have a two-way share of second.

Rose would become the third English man to reach the ranking summit after Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Bahamas-based Briton Rose is no stranger to winning in Philadelphia, having capturing the 2010 PGA National, and the second of his nine PGA titles, on this week’s host layout.

In 2013, Rose captured his first major title at the US Open at nearby Merion.

Rose ran off four consecutive birdies, a spurt ending at the par-3 fifth and topped by an 18-foot birdie putt at the third. He also birided the par-3 eighth from 12 feet and the par-5 ninth from three feet.

“It was a good day for me today and while it was a day I felt I didn’t play that well, it was a good day for scoring and I made my score on the front nine,” Rose said.

“I know there will be guys behind me on the leaderboard who will be gunning to play well and there will be guys who will just play well.” (Agence France-Presse)

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