Tournament: DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
Rolex Series: Fifth Rolex Series tournament of 2022
DP World Tour Rankings: Tournament 43 of 43 events
Venue: Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE
Prize Fund: $10,000,000
Hashtag: #DPWTC #RolexSeries #DPWT
Round Three Report
Jon Rahm will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai as he seeks to win the DP World Tour’s season-ending event for a third time.
The Spaniard already has four Rolex Series titles to his name, two of them coming in Dubai in 2017 and 2019, and two at the Irish Open, and is looking to add to his enviable record in the United Arab Emirates.
He started the final round four strokes off the pace but carded a bogey free seven under par 65 to move to the top of the leaderboard, one stroke ahead of fellow U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and two ahead of two-time Rolex Series winner Alex Noren, as he is chased down by five of his Ryder Cup teammates from the last four years.
After matching Rahm’s seven under par round, World Number One Rory McIlroy is projected to finish the season at the top of the DP World Tour Rankings in partnership with Rolex as he moved to a share of fourth place alongside Tyrrell Hatton on 12 under par.
Fitzpatrick could end the year as European Number One but would need to win the DP World Tour Championship and for McIlroy to finish worse than second. A runner-up finish could also see him lift the Harry Vardon Trophy on Sunday night, but he would need McIlroy to finish worse than seventh.
Jon Rahm: “Could not be any more opposite of the feeling. I don’t think I could have shot any lower today. Maximised the round. Wasn’t my best off the tee but I was able to actually get some birdies out of some not so good situations. I didn’t hit any of the fairways on the par fives and still played them three under par.
“I’m hoping come tomorrow I can be a little better off the tee, and still keep the good iron play and good putting going.
“I just like the golf course. I think visually it fits my eye and it’s very, very tailored probably because of man who designed it for people’s whose strength is ball-striking. Obviously length is always helpful but more so on this golf course. There’s a couple bunkers that I can cover, that a lot of us can cover. Like today I played with Campillo, not a short hitter but he just couldn’t quite cover, right, so that changes things a lot. 15 being a perfect example: Hit a great drive and 30-yard pitch shot to the pin today and he had to lay up.
“Well, I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a demanding golf course. I think the weather forecast is similar to today, which, you know, it can be a good thing, a tough day. I’ve had some good Sundays out here, so hopefully I can tidy up the mistakes off the tee and have a smooth round like I did yesterday.”
Matt Fitzpatrick: “Yeah, just didn’t get going early doors there. I just sort of struggled a little bit, got out of position off the tee and from there around this golf course this year with the rough up, it’s difficult to do anything. So felt like I drove it a little bit better on the back nine, and I gave myself a few more chances and made the putts as well, which was a big help.
“I think that’s been a big thing that’s come on for me is just being patient and knowing that I’m playing some good golf. I feel really comfortable with my irons this week, and that’s been a big, big change and a big step forward over the last few months. So yeah, looking forward to going into tomorrow.
“Yeah, it would mean the world. I’m going to need a lot of things go my way. I feel like this is the — well, potentially, with what happens tomorrow, could be a third win here, and if it happens, it could be all three times I’ve not won the Race to Dubai. So yeah, maybe I guess I just leave it a little bit too late to play well but I’ve given myself a chance tomorrow, and that’s all you can do at the start of the week. I’ll do the best I can and fingers crossed.”
Rory McIlroy: “Yeah, feels good. Didn’t get off to a great start with a bogey on one but hit two quality shots into two and was able to make eagle and bounced back from that.
“Overall, just hit it in the fairway a bit more today which made a big difference. I was able to get control of my approach shots and hit them close and make some easy birdies. So yeah, obviously just need to do more of the same tomorrow.
“It’s been a little better. I thought that last three holes yesterday could really kick-start a little bit of momentum for me, and I’ve brought that into today. I’ve played so well on this golf course over the years that I know how to shoot low scores here and I know how to make birdies. It was just a matter of getting it out of myself. And as you said, over the last 21 holes, it’s been a lot better.
“So as I said at the start, I just need to continue to put the ball if play off the tee and in the fairway and give myself plenty of chances from there.
“It’s really cool, I’ve got to this stage in the game over 15 years as a pro, and I’m still trying to do things for the first time. I’ve never won the FedExCup and this tour’s rankings in the same year, so it would be really nice.
“It’s been a wonderful year. I’ve played some really, really great golf and really consistent golf. If I’m able to go out there tomorrow and shoot a good score and get the job done, it would be a really nice way to end what’s been a great year.”
Alex Noren: “Yeah, and my game plan is to hit the shots I know is needed to play with these guys, and that’s what I’m trying to do. It’s definitely where I want to be, and a win would be huge. So I’m going to give my all, yeah.
“Yeah, good overall. Had a good front nine. I thought I played pretty decent on the back. Maybe not as good with the driver as on the front. It’s a little tricky around the greens or in the rough, a couple of bogeys. But you know, you can’t afford those around here against these guys. Overall I’m happy.
“I mean, I look at those guys and see what they do better than me and then I try to improve, and so I’m really happy to be in this position. I’m going to give it my all.”
Scores after Round Three:
201 J RAHM (ESP) 70 66 65,
202 M FITZPATRICK (ENG) 65 67 70,
203 A NOREN (SWE) 66 69 68,
204 R MCILROY (NIR) 71 68 65, T HATTON (ENG) 65 67 72,
206 A MERONK (POL) 70 71 65, T FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68 70 68,
207 J CAMPILLO (ESP) 71 65 71,
209 M KIEFFER (GER) 69 70 70, K KITAYAMA (USA) 68 69 72,
210 R H?JGAARD (DEN) 68 70 72, A ARNAUS (ESP) 67 68 75,
211 G GREEN (MAS) 70 73 68, S HORSFIELD (ENG) 71 70 70, A OTAEGUI (ESP) 71 68 72,
212 R LANGASQUE (FRA) 71 69 72, R RAMSAY (SCO) 69 70 73, M LEE (AUS) 71 67 74,
213 G MIGLIOZZI (ITA) 71 69 73, Y PAUL (GER) 68 71 74,
214 R MANSELL (ENG) 73 71 70, C SYME (SCO) 73 71 70, R MACINTYRE (SCO) 70 73 71, S LOWRY (IRL) 73 70 71, A WU (CHN) 78 64 72,
215 R FOX (NZL) 73 72 70, C SHINKWIN (ENG) 68 76 71, J LAGERGREN (SWE) 73 71 71, V HOVLAND (NOR) 74 70 71, V PEREZ (FRA) 69 73 73,
216 R CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 75 71 70, F ZANOTTI (PAR) 73 70 73, P WARING (ENG) 70 72 74,
217 A ROZNER (FRA) 72 72 73, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 72 71 74, O WILSON (ENG) 70 72 75,
218 E PEPPERELL (ENG) 76 73 69, E FERGUSON (SCO) 76 72 70, T OLESEN (DEN) 75 71 72, D LAW (SCO) 70 74 74, S SHARMA (IND) 73 71 74,
219 H LI (CHN) 75 75 69, R BLAND (ENG) 77 72 70, T LAWRENCE (RSA) 72 76 71, J SMITH (ENG) 76 72 71,
220 S S?DERBERG (SWE) 70 76 74, O BEKKER (RSA) 72 74 74,
222 H LONG (GER) 76 73 73,
223 M PAVON (FRA) 75 76 72,
226 P LARRAZ?BAL (ESP) 69 79 78