It’s going to be a fascinating final round after Patrick Reed birdied the closing hole at Jumeirah Golf Estates to join English pair Laurie Canter and Matt Fitzpatrick in a three way share of the lead going into the last day of the DP World Tour Championship and he remains in pole position to win the Race to Dubai title.
Reed followed a miraculous par save on the par three 17th – where he got up and down after his tee shot and avoided rolling into the water by a matter of inches – before holing a six foot birdie putt on the 18th for a round of 71 to join playing partner Fitzpatrick on 11 under par.
Reed commented; “It was sloppy. I didn’t really hit the ball as well as I needed to. Made some putts, but didn’t make the putts also I needed to. It was one of those days I had to lean a lot on my short game, and the good thing is I was able to do that and put myself into position to still have a share of the lead going into tomorrow.
“I’m trying not to really think about that (winning the Race to Dubai) honestly. 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’ve got a long day ahead of us tomorrow. We still have 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.”
Canter who, playing in the group ahead of Reed, had minutes earlier set that clubhouse target with a round of 68, added; “I have just been trying to stay into what I’m doing. It is obviously a massive tournament but the golf doesn’t really change for me. I’m just going to keep sort of plodding away and doing that and hopefully can finish right up there.
“To be honest I haven’t thought about it that much (winning the $3million first prize). I guess if you put my name next to the rest of the top ten it would change my life more than the other nine guys, let’s be honest. Let’s see. Let’s see. Right now, I just need a good feed and then have a good sleep, wake up tomorrow and see what I turn up with and obviously do my best.”
Fitzpatrick matched Canters score with a tap in birdie on the last for his 68 as the 2016 DP World Tour Championship winner kept up the pressure on Reed, the Race to Dubai leader, in the fourth and final Rolex Series event of the year.
Reed is still in control of his own destiny as he seeks to become the first American to become the European Tour’s Number One, but the European Tour’s disrupted 2020 season is set for a fascinating finale with Englishman Lee Westwood, currently fourth on the Race to Dubai, one of four players a single shot behind the leading trio.
Westwood posted four birdies in six holes immediately after the turn in his second consecutive round of 68 to remain firmly in contention to win the Harry Vardon Trophy for a third time, 20 years after he first lifted it.
The former World Number One is joined on ten under par by Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre (66) Spain’s Adri Arnaus (67) and Viktor Hovland (66), the Norwegian who is bidding for a maiden European Tour win to add to his second PGA Tour title, won at last week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico.