European Tour's Tour Championship: Justin Rose sets up thrilling climax

Ruben Hill
November 18, 2017

Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

"There's a hunger and motivation there", Rose said of his impressive streak of play that began roughly a month ago when he claimed the WGC-HSBC Champions title in a Sunday comeback, then followed it up with another Sunday rally to win the Turkish Airlines Open.

Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood matched Rose's score to remain two behind, with Dean Burmester and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, but Rose has the upper hand. One over after seven holes and seemingly going nowhere, the 27-year-old made his first birdie at the eighth.

Rose withstood a stiff test of his nerve by Fleetwood who, after a poor first day, has fought back with successive 65s, including eight birdies in his last 11 holes on Saturday.

Indeed, Rose was 256,000 points behind coming into this week, but, although the permutations were and still are devilishly complex, Rose made it an easy challenge for himself, even brushing away the notion that he should Fleetwood fail to triumph then solo second will do him. If Fleetwood slumps in the final round, a top-five finish could be enough for Rose.

Rose shot a third-round 65 and will clinch the European Tour's money list if he wins the season finale in Dubai.

With accessible pin positions and hardly any wind, the course was there for the taking, which is exactly what most players did.

Bogey-free Rose was solid from tee to green. Highlights of the round for Rose included a chip-in for birdie on the par-3 13th hole and a 45-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole.

"The short game has been sharp this week".

"An opportunity, that's the way I'm going to look at it".

Looking ahead to the final round, Rose said: "It's going to be a day where you're out there not paying too much attention to the leaderboard early in the round".

"Tommy's had the pressure of leading all year and I played with a lot of freedom because I had nothing to lose".

Fleetwood was delighted to turn around what was proving to be a frustrating day. "When you know the scoring is quite low, it's not nice to have nothing going at all". "Just one of them unusual days where nothing was going at all".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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