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Golf roundup: Justin Rose has one-shot lead after three rounds of DP World Tour Championship

Justin Rose acknowledges the crowd after saving par at No. 18 during the third round of the DP World Tour Championship on Saturday.
(Kamran Jebreili / Associated Pres)

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

The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a seven-under-par 65 Saturday and 15-under 201 overall.

The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day’s best score of 63, and Spain’s Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

Rose is looking to be Europe’s season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

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Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

“So, last day of the season and I’ve got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,” Fleetwood said. “It’s cool.”

U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose’s finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn’t finish in the top five and Garcia doesn’t win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

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Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked like throwing away his advantage on the par-five 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

“That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That’s the kind of putt I’ve been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,” said Rose. “I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he’s (Fleetwood) right there. He’s done everything he needs to do on his end, so it’s a lot of fun.”

The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

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Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

“I wanted to keep going. Let’s bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,” quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. “Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was one over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going it was a really good last 11 holes.”

Wie moves into tie for lead at LPGA tournament

Michelle Wie had a four-way share of the lead going into the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship, all because Sung Hyun Park stumbled badly during the third round and let so many players back into the mix.

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Wie, winless since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, shot a six-under 66 and was tied for the lead at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., with Kim Kaufman (64), Ariya Jutanugarn (67) and Suzann Pettersen (69).

Park started the third round with a three-shot lead but didn’t make a birdie until the 13th hole and shot 75. Park needs to win the Tour Championship to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win LPGA player of the year. She also would win the $1-million bonus.

Lexi Thompson was one shot behind the leaders.

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