Saturday, 08 December 2012
Justin Rose   (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

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Justin Rose will head into the final round of the Emirates Australian Open two strokes off the lead after a late stumble at The Lakes in Sydney.

Rose had held a two shot advantage in the afternoon but spoiled his round with consecutive bogeys on the final two holes to finish the day on five under overall.

Despite that the World Number Four remains firmly in contention to end 2012 on a high with his third round two under par 70 leaving him in second place behind local hopeful John Senden.

It is the second consecutive year Senden has held the 54-hole lead at the tournament and Rose is expecting a tough battle when they are paired tomorrow with high winds expected.

"I hear the wind's going to switch and blow just as hard," Rose said.

"Whoever literally stands up could win the golf tournament, it could be last man standing.

"I think it's going to be a battle - but I'm excited, as long as it doesn't get out of control and blow too hard, it's going to be a fun day to try and hit some shots.

"It's going to be my last round of the year and I'd like to go out on a high note."

Senden, who had led after the opening round, had to withstand a shaky start today as he bogeyed his opening two holes to fall behind a cluster of seven players who briefly held the lead.

But the 2006 Stonehaven Cup winner made his charge on the back nine, producing an eagle on the par five 11th and adding consecutive birdies from the 13th to card a two under 70 and sit at seven under overall.

"It was a day of just trying to do my best to stay up there and it's nice to be leading the golf tournament," Senden said.

"I thought the last two holes were pretty much close to the edge - it was so windy out there it was hard to hit the ball straight."

Matt Jones (69), Peter Senior (69) and Kieran Pratt (70) are level in third place a shot behind Rose.

Pratt stole the outright lead with spectacular eagle at the 11th but his stint at the top of the leaderboard ended on the very next hole with a bogey.

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