Day Three at the DP World Tour Championship was nothing short of a complete scoring barrage by the men at the top of the leaderboard. Birdies were flying, eagles too. The European Tour officials set up the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates with low scores in mind and the contenders took advantage. Here’s how things shook out in the third round Saturday:
Justin Rose was being pushed by at least a half dozen players, including his playing partner Jon Rahm. Rose responded with a seven-under par 65 that got him to 15-under but that is a precarious one-shot lead. He missed a golden opportunity to push the lead to two after hitting a good drive at the reachable par five 18th. But he misjudged his second and found the creek fronting the green. He hit a great fourth shot and sank a testy four-footer for par.
Jon Rahm was in the spotlight, playing with Rose. He shot his own 65 and managed to keep his ever-present temper under control. He’s one of the two players in at 14-under and he’ll play in the next-to-last group on Sunday.
South African Dylan Fritelli, who been poking his nose around the lead from time to time this fall, fired a magnificent 63, the day’s low round. He’ll be paired with Rose in the final Sunday pairing.
Tommy Fleetwood kept himself squarely in the hunt for the overall Race To Dubai title. Tommy didn’t start all that great on Saturday. He was one-over through seven but turned it on and played his final 11 holes eight-under par, coming home with 30 on the back nine for a 65 to get to 13-under. He’ll play in the next-to-last pairing with Rahm. Interesting twosome.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67) and Dean Burmester (65) were at 13-under par with Fleetwood.
Two Americans will start the final round just three off the lead. Julian Suri’s 68 got him to 12-under, Peter Uihlein’s 65 put him in position to make a Sunday run.
Overnight leader and defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick couldn’t get it in gear and his third round 72 saw players blowing by him. He’s five off Rose’s pace at 10-under.
Overall, scoring conditions were perfect — no wind, easier pin placements and a lot of tees moved up. Look for the setup to be a lot more challenging come Sunday.