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Saturday, 10 December 2016
Fleetwood  (European Tour)
Fleetwood (European Tour)

Tommy Fleetwood is playing with a smile on his face again after his recent upturn in form and is in contention to finish 2016 with a victory at the UBS Hong Kong Open.

The Englishman had his breakthrough on the European Tour when he won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2013 but he has not managed to add to that victory since.

He had just two top tens in a 16-month period from May 2015 until September this year but since then has been in excellent form, shooting under par or better in 37 of his last 38 rounds.

“Stats”

The 25 year old has credited returning to his old coach and having friend Ian Finnis on the bag as major factors in his improvement, and he will head into Sunday just two shots off the lead at Hong Kong Golf Club.

"It would be great to win tomorrow," he said. "I haven't won for a long time and it almost feels like I have had a year out of the game because I was playing dreadful from mid-2015 to the middle of this year.

"I've sort of been on a path since August, if you like, getting my game back. I was just playing dreadful. Just rubbish. My game's been coming back and I've had some good results towards the end of the year.

"I went back to my old coach and I've had one of my best mates on the bag since July. Things have just turned around. I've worked hard.

"We had to make some changes and we had to put a lot of hours into it. It began to show and I've been having a nice time on the course.

"Caddie and coach have made the biggest difference and I've been enjoying my job again."

I was just playing dreadful. Just rubbish. My game's been coming back and I've had some good results towards the end of the year - Tommy Fleetwood

A closing bogey was the only blemish in the third round for Fleetwood who carded two birdies and an eagle courtesy of a stunning approach to six feet on the 13th.

He leads the field in greens in regulation this week while sitting third in fairways hit and fifth in driving distance, and a finish of third on his own would move him into the Top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking.

"I'd like to be a bit better but I think the way the course sets up, margins are so small, I'm still going to have to go out there and play well and make some birdies," he said. "Anybody from five to six under could win tomorrow.

"I love courses like this. This is honestly one of the best courses I've played on Tour. It just shows, you don't have to have length.

"Luckily I've had three days of hitting it pretty well but if you don't hit it well, you're going to get caught out straight away. I've got another day where I have to hit it well but I think the course is great."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BRAZEL, SamAUS18-13
2CABRERA BELLO, RafaESP18-12
T3DODT, AndrewAUS18-11
T3FLEETWOOD, TommyENG18-11
5LIPSKY, DavidUSA18-10
6WILLETT, DannyENG18-9

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