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Rose leads bunched pack with nine in tow

Englishman taking nothing for granted due to the size of the chase behind him

Image Credit: AFP
Justin Rose of England in action during the third round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Justin Rose heads a bunched leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship on 15 under, just a stroke clear of Dylan Fritelli and Jon Rahm.

With Fritelli and Rahm included there are a list of nine, who are all within three shots of Rose, making for a dramatic final day of the season, where it won’t just be the tournament that’s decided, but also the overall season’s money-list.

At one stage, there were seven all leading the tournament tied on 11 under midway through Saturday’s round but Rose pulled away.

Rose’s Race to Dubai rival Tommy Fleetwood is also within the trailing pack, just two strokes behind alongside Dean Burmester and Kiradech Aphibarnrat on 13-under at tied for fourth.

Rose needs to finish at least solo fifth to stand any chance of winning the Race to Dubai, while current money-list leader Fleetwood, who was 250,000 points clear of Rose heading into this final event, needs to equal or better Rose to prevent him overtaking.

“Everyone played great golf today,” said Rose, who moved from tied for third to first with his 65 on Saturday. “I saw Tommy’s name creep up on the board. It’s brilliant. It’s just so much fun and a ton of guys are in with a chance tomorrow. It’s really condensed.

“A one-shot lead with a pack like that behind you doesn’t mean much though. It’s just going to be whoever comes out tomorrow and really plays well,” said Rose, who shot three birdies on his front nine to join a pack of seven to lead at 11 under before carding four on his return to pull ahead on 15 under.

“I had no idea what he shot,” he said of Fleetwood, who rose from a tied for 11th overnight to tied for fourth with a third round’s 65. “Good for him. That’s unbelievable. I saw him get to 11 under and then all of a sudden he’s on 13 under and he was obviously making a nice charge.

“It keeps it interesting but like I’ve said all week, I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. 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.”

Fritelli, just a stroke behind Rose, shot one off a course record, nine under par 63 on Saturday — equalling the best round of the week so far, which was earlier set by Tyrrell Hatton on Friday — to jump up 13 places in the leaderboard to tied for second.

Day two leader and defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick shot a level par-72 to see him stay at 10 under tied for 13.

Hatton, who had just been a stroke behind Fitzpatrick on Friday with his earlier 63, shot three-under 69 on Saturday to get up to 12 under overall, a position he shares at tied for seventh with Julian Suri, Peter Uihlein and Paul Dunne.

David Lipsky was the day’s fastest riser, adding 64 to earlier rounds of 70 and 72, to sit tied for 13 with Fitzpatrick and Sergio Garcia.

 

Leading scores(After third round)

-15 Justin Rose (Britain) 66 70 65

-14 Jon Rahm (Spain) 69 68 65

Dylan Frittelli (South Africa) 71 68 63

-13 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) 69 67 67

Tommy Fleetwood (Britain) 73 65 65

Dean Burmester (South Africa) 70 68 65

-12 Julian Suri (US) 68 68 68

Tyrrell Hatton (Britain) 72 63 69

Peter Uihlein (U.S.) 71 68 65

Paul Dunne (Ireland) 67 70 67

-11 Alexander Bjork (Sweden) 67 71 67

Patrick Reed (U.S.) 65 72 68

-10 David Lipsky (U.S.) 70 72 64

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Britain) 67 67 72

Sergio Garcia (Spain) 70 69 67.

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