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Saturday, 31 August 2019
Tommy Fleetwood  (Getty Images)
Tommy Fleetwood (Getty Images)

Tommy Fleetwood was delighted with his battling back nine as he thrust himself into contention heading into the final round of the Omega European Masters.

After dropping shots on the second, third and sixth, the Englishman looked to be falling out of the running before an approach to three feet on the ninth ignited his challenge.

He holed from 12 feet on the 12th and, after taking advantage of the back to back par fives at the 14th and 15th, a 15 footer on the 17th left him just two off the lead.

Fleetwood has missed just one cut since his appearance at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club two years ago but he has also claimed just one victory in that time and would love to get back in the winner's circle in the mountains.

"It's easy to get down on yourself," he said. "It was a terrible start but I didn't do that much wrong. Nine and ten were important, I had a couple of up-and-downs there that kept me going a bit more. 

"I had a good finish. It's that kind of golf course where you can get hot. Tomorrow I definitely need a better start but the back nine, need more of that.

"I think I've been swinging it well in general. There have been times when I've not felt as good and times when I've felt really good. Putting has been a big improvement, apart from the first few today. 

"It's nice to be in contention again. It's a lovely place to come. 

"Apart from just winning an event, which is great, this has got a lot of history about it, a lot of great winners. I'm not being corny, it has a lot of history and it's a great European Tour event to have on your resumé."

Rory McIlroy had picked up five shots in his last five holes in round two but reversed that trend on Saturday, making bogeys on the 14th, 17th and last.

It has a lot of history and it's a great European Tour event to have on your resumé - Tommy Fleetwood

The Northern Irishman will head into Sunday three shots adrift of leader Andres Romero and is looking for a fast start.

"I felt a little flat out there, a little tired," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting to bed early and getting a good night's sleep. 

"I played pretty solid, made those mistakes coming in. If I go out and play a good front nine tomorrow, I'll be right in it.

"I'm still going to be within three of the lead tomorrow. If I get off to a good start, especially how tough those first four holes are playing, if I can play those in a couple under I'll be right there.

"I would love to win here, I just didn't quite have it today in the way that I did the previous days, especially yesterday with that finish. I need to gather myself, get rested up and put everything I have into tomorrow."

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