Patrick Reed shares Race to Dubai lead ahead of final day

Graeme McDowell withdraws from European Tour finale because of back inury

Patrick Reed during day three of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Photograph: Getty Images

Patrick Reed during day three of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Patrick Reed will take a share of the lead in to the final day of the DP World Tour Championship but he faces a stiff challenge as he looks to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai.

The 2018 Masters champion knows a victory this week will see him lift the Harry Vardon Trophy, but he did not have it all his own way on day three in the desert as he battled to a 71 to sit in a three-way tie at the top with English pair Matt Fitzpatrick and Laurie Canter.

Ireland’s Graeme McDowell has pulled out of the competition with a back injury following Friday’s second round 76 which left him 15 off the pace.

Lee Westwood has already been crowned Europe’s number one twice and the Englishman will make it a hat-trick if he finishes top of the pile on Sunday.

The 47-year-old fired a third-round 68 to sit one shot off the lead alongside Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, Spaniard Adri Arnaus and Norwegian Viktor Hovland.

Reed began the week with a 460-point lead in the season-long standings, but with 2,000 points on offer to the winner it is mathematically possible for 61 of the 65-man field to finish top of the money list.

“I’m trying not to really think about that honestly,” said Reed. “If it happens, it would be unbelievable. It was always a goal of mine obviously to win golf tournaments but to win this one and also to win the Race to Dubai and be the first American would be amazing.

“We’ve got a long day ahead of us tomorrow. We still have a full 18 holes left and you can’t really sit back there and think as much about that as just stay in the present and try to play some good golf tomorrow.”

Reed had taken advantage of the par five seventh but dropped shots on the 12th and 14th before holing a bunker shot on the 15th and capitalising on the par five last after laying up.

Playing partner Fitzpatrick — the 2016 champion at this event — had the chance to jump into the lead on the 18th after finding the green in two but settled for a fourth birdie of the day to go with a single bogey in a 69.

“It was just a solid day,” he said. “Just limited the mistakes on the hole and didn’t necessarily give myself too many chances but the most important thing was I kept myself in touch with the guys at the top.”

Canter has two second placed finishes in his last six starts and was another man to birdie the last with a stunning approach as he carded a 68.

“I think the chance we had when we were locked down to reflect a bit on things I was going to do differently when I came back and I’ve done a few little things differently,” he said of his form. “But they would be so kind of inconsequential you wouldn’t necessarily notice, to be honest.

“I’ve tried to reflect a bit more on myself and take a bit more on myself and I’ve got good coaches who have helped me and all that kind of stuff, but it would be hard to tell you honestly what it was.”

Westwood recovered from a double bogey on the fourth to card a 68 with the help of a hat-trick of gains from the 13th despite entering the week with a back injury.

“No complaints or excuses,” he said. “I’m swinging it as good as I’ve swung it all year and I’ve hit it further than I have all year. I just really played the same as I played the first couple of days, just solid stuff.”

MacIntyre fired a bogey-free round of 66 and could make history on Sunday as he looks to follow fellow Scots Bernard Gallacher and Sandy Lyle in becoming just the third player to be crowned Europe’s number one the season after being rookie of the year.

“It would mean everything,” he said. “Not just to me but my whole team, my family. But I’ve got a job to do. I can’t look too far ahead. If it’s good enough, it’s good enough. If not, well, then I’ve been beaten by a better man.”

Collated third round scores and totals (British unless stated, par 72):

205 Laurie Canter 71 66 68, Patrick Reed (USA) 70 64 71, Matthew Fitzpatrick 68 68 69

206 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 71 68 67, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 71 69 66, Robert Macintyre 68 72 66, Lee Westwood 70 68 68

207 Sami Valimaki (Fin) 69 69 69

208 Danny Willett 72 67 69

209 Andy Sullivan 71 71 67, Tyrrell Hatton 69 68 72

210 Branden Grace (Rsa) 72 66 72, Victor Perez (Fra) 67 74 69, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 69 70 71

211 Collin Morikawa (USA) 72 70 69, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 73 71 67, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 68 73 70

212 Marc Warren 72 72 68, Tommy Fleetwood 69 69 74, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 72 69 71, Callum Shinkwin 70 71 71, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 71 71 70

213 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 76 69 68, Matt Wallace 72 71 70, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 74 68 71, George Coetzee (Rsa) 71 72 70, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 70 77 66, Ian Poulter 74 68 71, Sean Crocker (USA) 70 76 67, Sungjae Im (Kor) 75 70 68, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 70 71 72

214 Wil Besseling (Ned) 72 73 69, Justin Harding (Rsa) 77 69 68, Jamie Donaldson 70 75 69, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 75 66 73

215 Dean Burmester (Rsa) 76 67 72, Joost Luiten (Ned) 71 73 71, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 72 73 70

216 Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 70 73 73, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 76 71 69, Thomas Detry (Bel) 74 73 69, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 79 70 67, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 71 70 75

217 Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 74 72 71, Tom Lewis 78 68 71, Jordan Smith 74 72 71, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 73 74 70

218 Ross Fisher 73 75 70, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 72 74 72, Scott Jamieson 74 70 74, Renato Paratore (Ita) 75 73 70, Robert Rock 73 73 72, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 75 73 70, Connor Syme 73 73 72, John Catlin (USA) 75 74 69

219 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 74 76 69

220 Eddie Pepperell 78 73 69

221 Aaron Rai 72 76 73

222 Rasmus Hojgaard (Den) 76 68 78, Gavin Green (Mal) 70 78 74, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 75 77 70

223 Marcus Armitage 73 74 76

224 Sam Horsfield 77 74 73, Grant Forrest 75 74 75

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