Fleetwood Boosts Hope Of Securing No. 1 Crown At Nedbank Final Day.

Tommy Fleetwood kept alive hopes of securing the European Tour No. 1 crown with a rousing third round at the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City, South Africa.

The long-haired and bearded Englishman finally unravelled his game after disappointing earlier rounds of 73 and 74 to jump 30 places and into a share of seventh place courtesy of a third day 67 for a two-under par total.

If left Fleetwood trailing six strokes behind Scotland’s Scot Jamieson who also signed for a 67 and a one-shot lead at eight-under par.

Tommy Fleetwood’s 67 boosts hopes of securing the Race to Dubai title on the final day of the Nedbank Challenge. (Photo – European Tour/Getty)

Fleetwood arrived at Sun City enjoying a 134,839 Race to Dubai points lead over the absent Justin Rose, and with Rose prepared to stake his claims for a second European No. 1 title on the outcome of next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

A Fleetwood victory, however, in South Africa would deliver him the No. 1 title while at worst, a top-of-the-board showing would make it that much harder for Rose to deny his compatriot in Dubai.

“Today I was playing, trying to get myself into some kind of contention for the tournament and I am now mentally prepared for tomorrow, big time,” said Fleetwood.

“Hopefully you’ve always got something to play for towards the end of the year, whether it’s top 30, gets you in The Open or Top-10, Race to Dubai, and it’s a new experience trying to win the title.

“So, every shot counts and every shot should count throughout the year. It’s that it just gets magnified towards the end of it.”

And if Fleetwood needs any further incentive he only needs to be reminded of the efforts a year ago of Sweden’s Alex Noren who muscled his way from a similar six-shot deficit to win ‘Africa’s Major’.

“I will be taking it as just business as usual,” said Fleetwood.

“You want to try to finish as high up as you can every week, and it’s not always plane sailing on the way in now.

“When you realise you have a chance of doing it; not once does The Race to Dubai come into my head when it’s like that. Next week might be a different story when it’s actually the last tournament.

“You can’t do anything about what the guys do. I was really happy for Justin (Rose) as he’s put a lot of work in, and to see anybody that you know quite well to play like he did, I was really happy for him.

“It just wasn’t ideal for me. But I’m getting on with my own stuff.

“The first two rounds that didn’t really go that well, and then today was a good one. So, see what tomorrow brings.”

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