Tommy Fleetwood surges toward Race to Dubai title with phenomenal second round
He's still chasing, but Fleetwood is now in premium position in Dubai
The DP World Tour Championship might turn into the undercard this week in Dubai as Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia fight it out for the Race to Dubai, Europe's answer to the FedEx Cup.
Rose had the upper hand on Thursday after firing a 6-under 66, but the current leader Fleetwood answered with a 65 of his own on Friday to re-take the Race to Dubai lead (barely). The top 10 players in the final Race to Dubai standings share $5 million with the winner getting just over $1 million.
Matthew Fitzpatrick leads the tournament at 10 under, but Rose (8 under) and Fleetwood (6 under) are still very much in the mix to sweep both the event and the Race to Dubai. The permutations are a bit complex, but as you can see below, if either player slips at all from where he is right now, the other can pretty easily take over.
However, they're both chasing 2016 World Tour Championship winner Fitzpatrick.
"I won here last year, so again, I've got nothing to lose," Fitzpatrick said after his second straight 67. "Obviously it would be nice to defend, but you know sort of the odds when you're coming into the tournament. There's great players at the top of the leaderboard already.
"Yeah, I'm just looking forward to the weekend and delighted that I could put myself in position."
Fleetwood's 65 comes on the heels of a 1-over 73 that threatened to not only knock him out of the tournament but out of the Race to Dubai entirely.
"It's all about how you react to stuff, isn't it," Fleetwood said. "Yesterday I was really happy with how I reacted early on. Got off to a bad start and got back into it and I didn't really play great. Missed a couple of putts and it was like one of them rounds.
"It was a big day. But today, you get over it, you move on, and still three rounds of golf left to play. Now there's two. Swing felt a lot better. I was on the putting green till dark last night. You know, today was just a much better today."
Rose has won each of his last two events and is searching for his second Race to Dubai title (formerly the Order of Merit). Fitzpatrick said Rose probably has more confidence right now than anyone in the field.
"I think come out tomorrow positive," said Rose of his plan for the weekend. "You don't want to leave yourself too much to do on Sunday from too far back. Just come out tomorrow and have a good, positive mindset and try to make a few birdies. (The Race to Dubai) creeps in (my thoughts) for sure. I think you want to keep it out of your thoughts when you're hitting good shots. That's a recipe for good golf. Of course between rounds and at nights, it creeps in."
All of this sets up for a fun weekend finish as Rose trails by two, Fleetwood by four and the Race to Dubai win is still very much up in the air.
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