His three rounds of 67-69-68 put him at 12-under par, and it looks like it is Rose’s tournament to lose.
After a bogey at the first, he birdied five of the last six holes on the front nine to shoot a four-under par 32. Two bogeys and two birdies on the back nine gave him an even-par 36 for his round of 68.
Rose had an excellent year in 2012. He won the WGC-Cadillac in March, had eight top-10s and earned over $4 million on the PGA Tour. He also won $1.5 million in the Turkish World Airlines Golf Final in October over an elite eight-man field that included Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
In December, Rose teamed up with Peter Hanson to win another $285,000 in the Tyco Golf Skills Challenge. He also finished T-8 in the 2012 Masters and was T-3 in the PGA Championship.
Rose’s solid play this week in Abu Dhabi is a sign that he is prepared to continue his strong play from last year and could have a monster year in 2013.
He is on the short list of “best players yet to win a major.” He is No. 5 on the Official World Golf Ranking and has been in the top 10 in the rankings for some time.
Justin Rose has been steadily progressing over the past few years. He is 32 years old, and it is time for him to win a major or two. He has the perfect game, experience and temperament to break through in 2013.