Race to Dubai fully up for grabs after Fleetwood shoots 65

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 17: Tommy Fleetwood of England on the 18th hole during the second round of the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 17, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images) Getty Images

Race to Dubai fully up for grabs after Fleetwood shoots 65

Euro Tour

Race to Dubai fully up for grabs after Fleetwood shoots 65

 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Race to Dubai is back on.

Tommy Fleetwood made sure of that with a 7-under 65 in the second round of the $8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the final event of the 2017 European Tour season.

The current European No. 1 needed a good round to tell incumbent No. 1 Justin Rose he’s going to fight until the last putt on Sunday.

Fleetwood arrived in Dubai 256,737 points ahead of Rose at the top of the European money list, but looked to have handed Rose his second Harry Vardon Trophy following 2007 when he shot 73 to Rose’s 66 in Round 1.

Rose is lying in joint third place, and trails defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick by two shots. Fleetwood moved to T-11, four shots off the lead, from T-46 overnight.

Fleetwood is back in pole position to end the year as European No. 1 for the first time.

“I knew I needed a really low score to get back into the event never mind the Race to Dubai,” said Fleetwood, who birdied four of the first six holes and four of his last seven. 

“There was pressure today because I couldn’t afford to fall back.”

He didn’t. He moved forward to prove he’s worthy of the No. 1 spot he’s held for most of this season. 

“Today was pressure in a different way. If I’d have shot level par or even one under then everything is completely out of my hands.

“It’s a big round that but it’s only a big round if I keep it going.”

Rose began with five straight pars before his first birdie. He was still 1 under on the 14th tee but birdied the 14th and 15th holes to move into a tie for the lead. He would be closer to Fitzpatrick if not for a poor three-putt bogey on the par-5 18th.

“Every permutation is in play,” Rose said. “All I had to was give myself a chance going into the weekend and that’s what I’ve done.”

Fleetwood will win the Race to Dubai by about 43,000 points if things remain as they are, but there’s still a lot of mileage left in this race.

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