Rolex Series

Reed shares lead to stay in Dubai driving seat

Patrick Reed birdied the last to share the lead after 54 holes at the 2020 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai and keep himself in pole position to win the Race to Dubai.

Patrick Reed

The American entered day three at Jumeirah Golf Estates with a two shot lead and while he had to work hard for a third round 71, his 11 under par total put him in a three way tie at the top of the leaderboard alongside English duo Laurie Canter and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Like Reed, Lee Westwood will be crowned European Number One if he wins on Sunday and the Englishman was a shot off the lead alongside Spaniard Adri Arnaus, Norwegian Viktor Hovland and Scot Robert MacIntyre.

Reed has long spoken of his desire to be a truly international player and become the first American to lift the Harry Vardon Trophy, and a gutsy short game masterclass has put him on the edge of history in the UAE.

But he faces some stiff competition if he is to win his first Rolex Series title, with Fitzpatrick a winner before at this event and Canter having finished second twice in his last six starts.

Westwood is a two time Rolex Series champion and 25 time European Tour winner who has twice finished the season as Europe's best and won this event in 2009.

MacIntyre already has a win under his belt this season as he looks to become just the third player in history to win the Harry Vardon Trophy the season after being crowned the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.

And while Hovland and Arnaus are both looking for their first European Tour wins, Hovland is 15th in the Official World Golf Ranking and Arnaus is a three time European Tour runner up.

So with 14 players within five shots of the lead including fellow Major Champions Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer, Reed was keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

"I'm trying not to really think about that, honestly," he said. "If it happens, it would be unbelievable. It was always a goal of mine obviously to win golf tournaments but to win this one and also to win the Race to Dubai and be the first American would be amazing.

"We still have a full 18 holes left and you can't really sit back there and think as much about that as just stay in the present and try to play some good golf tomorrow."

Fitzpatrick was the first player to cut the gap to the leader as he got up and down from the sand on the second and he soon had Canter for company as the 31-year-old put an approach to six feet at the first and holed a monster at the fifth.

A good bogey for Fitzpatrick after he found water on the sixth left Canter in solo second and the lead was shared when a two putt birdie on the par five seventh brought the leading challenger a third birdie of the day.

Reed had done well from the sand on the third and fourth and he continued that theme on the seventh, playing a stunning bunker shot to get his nose back in front.

The chasing pack were gathering, however, and Hovland and MacIntyre were the next players to find themselves in double figures.

Hovland - a winner last week on the US PGA Tour - started his round with three birdies and then picked up another shot to turn in 32.

A 15 footer on the tenth edged him further up the leaderboard and while he missed good chances on the 12th, 13th and 14th, an approach to five feet at the next had him within one.

MacIntyre was lagging behind when he turned in 34 with birdies on the third and seventh but caught fire on the back nine, making gains on the 11th, 12th, 14th and 16th to make his move.

Fitzpatrick had made the most of the seventh and he holed an 18 footer on the 12th to get to ten under, a score that was soon in a four way tie for the lead as playing partner Reed hit a poor second on the same hole and failed to get up and down.

Four soon became five as Westwood produced a blistering run on the back nine to catapult himself up the leaderboard.

The 47-year-old had made the most of the two par fives on the front nine while double bogeying the fourth but made a gain on the tenth, holed a 15 footer on the 13th, took advantage of another par five on the next and left himself a short putt for birdie on the 15th.

A three putt from Reed on the 14th meant Westwood had moved himself into pole position for the Race to Dubai title and the leading pack remained a five man group as Canter bounced back from a bogey on the 12th with an excellent approach to the 15th.

Reed was looking ragged but he holed a brilliant bunker shot on the 15th to rejoin the lead and it became a seven way tie when Arnaus joined Hovland and MacIntyre at ten under in the clubhouse.

The 26-year-old had started with three birdies but added just one birdie and one bogey in his next 13 holes before making gains on the 16th and last.

Canter boke out of the pack with a stunning approach to the last after being forced to lay up, but Reed followed suit after almost finding water for the second hole in a row, while Fitzpatrick made his closing gain after finding the green in two.

Finn Sami Välimäki was at nine under, a shot clear of 2018 champion Willett and two ahead of two more Englishmen in Tyrrell Hatton and Andy Sullivan.

Two time Major winner Kaymer, Rolex Series winner Branden Grace and Frenchman Victor Perez were at six under.

Read next