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AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Justin Rose said a couple of key mistakes kept him from having a run at the lead in Friday's second round at the U.S. Masters and expected calm weather and faster greens to play to his strengths this weekend.
The 36-year-old Olympic gold medallist from England was lurking just three strokes behind the tournament leaders after shooting an even-par 72 in gusting winds for a one-under-par 143 total heading into Saturday's third round.
"The course is going to play incredibly fast tomorrow, which is exactly how you want to play this golf course," 2013 U.S. Open champion Rose told reporters.
"We have actually been quite lucky with the weather, with all the storms of Monday and Wednesday to have the course playing somewhat firm and fast is going to be a lot of fun."
Rose, one of the best ball strikers in the game, balanced four bogeys with four birdies, gaining strokes on both of the par-fives on the back nine.
At the 13th, Rose narrowly missed a putt for eagle before settling for birdie on the closing hole of Amen Corner.
But the mistakes, including bogeys after a weak wedge shot on 14 and a missed putt on 18, held him back from making a run at the lead.
"Other than that I did all the good things, birdied the par‑fives, and hit some good shots and I'm in decent position going into the weekend," said Rose, the world number 14.
Rose, among the favourites to win his first Green Jacket after world number one Dustin Johnson pulled out of the tournament, will tee off on Saturday alongside Australian Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion.
Editing by Larry Fine