Tommy Fleetwood signalled a fierce determination to clinch a first Race to Dubai title with a brilliant second round in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Olympic champion Justin Rose seized the initiative on Thursday in the battle to be crowned European number one with an opening 66 in Dubai which left him just a shot off the lead held by American Patrick Reed.
Rose trails fellow Englishman Fleetwood by 256,738 points on the money list, but knows a remarkable third consecutive victory would guarantee him the Harry Vardon trophy for the second time.
However, if Rose is third or worse at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Fleetwood can cling on to top spot with a good finish of his own and gave himself a fighting chance with a superb 65 on Friday.
“Today was pressure in a different way,” Fleetwood said after a round containing eight birdies and a solitary bogey. “If I had shot level par or one under today everything is completely out of my hands.
“I’ve kept myself in with a chance of the tournament but it’s only a big round if I keep it going.”
Fleetwood completed his second round just moments before Rose started his own on the same score of six under, with Tyrrell Hatton having set the clubhouse target on nine under after a 63 that was marred only by a bogey on the 18th.
“I don’t know whether Justin will be bothered or not,” Fleetwood said. “He is so strong mentally and he knows what he’s doing. He’s been in a lot of situations like this.
“This is my first time but I’m glad I’ve put my name up there. At least my name is somewhere now, rather than the wrong end of the leaderboard.
“You still have to go out and shoot scores but he’s on amazing form at the moment. I won’t put it past him carrying it on and shooting another one.”
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