Rose pushes clear as Fleetwood finishes with a flourish
Justin Rose shot a fine blemish-free 65 to set up a dramatic finish at the DP World Tour Championship as the Race to Dubai was left primed for a dramatic conclusion.
Rose has been in sensational form in recent weeks to close the gap on Order of Merit leader Tommy Fleetwood, and if he can keep it going on Sunday the 2013 U.S. Open champion could usurp his compatriot.
The 37-year-old needs to finish no worse than solo fifth and ahead of Fleetwood to have any chance of finishing the season on top, and Saturday's round put him in pole position to do so.
Rose charged out of the blocks with birdies at the first and third, while another followed at the seventh before a thrilling run on his back nine.
An 18-foot birdie putt at 12 was followed by two more in successive holes to earn a share of the lead.
A missed opportunity at 15, having been in the bunker, did not prove costly as he finished the third round one clear of Dylan Frittelli in 15 under.
While Rose – who rescued par at the last having been in the water – flourished, Fleetwood started sedately with six pars and a bogey at the fifth.
Back nine goals pic.twitter.com/yQjmsOgtsi— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 18, 2017
From the eighth he showed why he has been so successful this year with a sensational run to keep himself in contention, Fleetwood sinking eight birdies in an inspired spell.
That 65 left him two shots behind Rose going into what promises to be a gripping Sunday.
And he is not alone chasing Rose for the tournament victory after moving day brought the best out in a number of players.
Fritelli hit a sublime 63 to stake his claim. The South African sits one back with Jon Rahm, while Dean Burmester and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are level with Fleetwood heading into the final round.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia still had a chance to beat Rose and Fleetwood in the Race to Dubai but, despite carding a 67, the Spaniard faces an uphill challenge with one round to play.
Garcia, who is five adrift, needs to win the tournament at the Jumeirah Golf Estates while hoping Rose finishes outside the top four and Fleetwood lower than 20th – scenarios that both look unlikely.