The Englishman birdied the final hole of his third round to put him on 13-under, one shot clear of Zimbabwe's Brendan De Jonge and American Webb Simpson.
Rose, who won twice on the PGA Tour in 2010, has struggled so far this season but is confident his form is coming together at the right time and is confident he is turning a corner.
He is not getting too overconfident going into the final round and knows he'll have to be patient on Sunday.
"I knew I was playing well and wasn't getting much out of it," said Rose.
"This is a golf course that it's easy to be patient on, really, in terms of you hit in the middle of the green, you two-putt for par, you know you're not being lapped by the rest of the field."