Saturday, 18 November 2017
Day 3 Highlights - DP World Tour Championship

Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai with the Race to Dubai set for a grandstand finish at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The Englishman has won his last two European Tour starts and entered the eighth Rolex Series event of the season knowing another victory would see him overtake countryman Tommy Fleetwood and be crowned Europe's Number One for the second time.

He seized the initiative to top the projected Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex after day one but a bogey on the last in his second round meant Fleetwood was back in the ascendancy heading into the weekend.

Fleetwood came home in 30 for a second consecutive round of 65 on Saturday to sit at 13 under but Rose matched him to be two shots better off and one ahead of Dylan Frittelli and Jon Rahm.

Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat finished his round of 67 with five birdies to sit alongside Fleetwood at 13 under, with South African Dean Burmester also at that mark after a 65.

Should Rose finish solo second on Sunday, Fleetwood would have to win to claim the Harry Vardon Trophy, with a host of permutations in play as long as Rose finishes in the top five.

"I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard," said Rose. "But if I slip up tomorrow, he's right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.

"An opportunity, that's the way I'm going to look at it. Don't see much pressure on myself tomorrow. This is going to be a day just to go for it really and play well.

"There's going to be a lot of good players and it's going to be a day where you have to play good golf."

Rose put his approach on the first to ten feet and when he put his second at the third to tap-in range to join the lead with Fleetwood bogeying the fifth after trouble off the tee, the Race to Dubai pendulum was swinging back towards the 2013 US Open champion.

Don't see much pressure on myself tomorrow. This is going to be a day just to go for it really and play well - Justin Rose

South African Frittelli made a birdie-birdie-birdie start and further gains on the seventh and tenth had him in a share of the lead before Rose holed a 14-footer on the seventh to get to 11 under.

Rose turned in 33 but that was one worse than playing partner Rahm who, after a bogey on the first, made gains on the third, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth to share the lead.

Fleetwood, meanwhile, had started moving his way back up the leaderboard with birdies on the eighth, ninth and tenth.

Frittelli joined the leading group with a birdie on the 14th and when he took advantage of the driveable par four 15th, he had the lead on his own.

Rose holed an 18-footer on the 12th but Frittelli hit back from similar range on the 17th and after Rose chipped in on the 13th, Frittelli took advantage of the last to sign for a brilliant bogey-free 63 and set the target at 14 under.

While Rose and Frittelli were doing battle at the top, Fleetwood was stalking them, making four birdies in a row from the 13th with the help of a monster putt on the 16th.

An excellent chip on the 14th helped put Rose back in a share of the lead, with Rahm getting up and down in style on the next to keep well in touch.

A 36-foot putt on the 16th put Rose on top on his own and Rahm birdied the same hole, with the Spaniard and Fleetwood both birdieing the last as Rose saved par despite finding the water.

"It's massive, it really is," said Fleetwood. "But above all, whether I win it or not or whether Justin wins it, one of us will have deserved it.

"It's been an absolute pleasure trying to win a Race to Dubai, coming down these last few events and especially this week, now. The week could have gone not quite how you wanted it, not being in contention or anything. So last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai, it's cool.

Whether I win it or not or whether Justin wins it, one of us will have deserved it - Tommy Fleetwood

"It's the biggest thing I've ever tried to achieve. I was in contention in the US Open and Mexico but they were one or two rounds. This has been all year and you come down to the final event.

"A year-and-a-half ago I was absolutely nowhere in the game and I was a bit lost. Fast forward to here for me, it's been amazing to play and to enjoy my golf this year. Then to get to this stage, it's been an absolute pleasure and privilege trying to compete for a Race to Dubai."

Burmester's round was bogey-free with gains on the first, third, seventh, 11th, 13th, 14th and last, while Aphibarnrat added two birdies and two bogeys to that big finish.

Irishman Paul Dunne, England's Tyrrell Hatton and American duo Julian Suri and Peter Uihlein were at 12 under, a shot clear of Alexander Björk and Patrick Reed.

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1RAHM, JonESP18-19
T2LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-18
T2APHIBARNRAT, KiradechTHA18-18
T4GARCIA, SergioESP18-17
T4BURMESTER, DeanRSA18-17
T4ROSE, JustinENG18-17

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