Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood salvaged a slow start to the week at the Nedbank Golf Challenge to put one hand on the season-long title.
Weekend rounds of 67 and 71 made up for a start of 73 and 74 to finish the 26-year-old in tied 10th and extend his lead atop the Race to Dubai standings to just over 250,000 points.
Fleetwood led fellow-Englishman Justin Rose by less than 140,000 points after Rose’s back-to-back wins in the past two weeks. With Rose sitting out at the Gary Player Country Club this week, and there being no cut in the shortened field event, Fleetwood was guaranteed to move further in front.
Thursday and Friday’s rounds included eight bogeys and just five birdies to leave the world-number-19 at three-over-par. But Fleetwood responded by going out in 32 on Saturday and adding an eagle three on the 10th before two bogeys slumped the score to 67.
On Sunday he was out in 34, with three birdies and a single bogey, and may be disappointed that his back nine resulted in a 37 to leave him three-under-par.
“Starting yesterday I would have taken this, starting today I would have probably wanted a bit more,” Fleetwood told Sky Sports.
“As much as it depends what everybody else does, I can take it out of everyone’s hands. But we’ll see.”
Brande Grace took the Nedbank Golf Challenge title with a winning score of 11-under-par, seeing off Scott Jamieson by one shot.
Fleetwood may be left to lament what could have been given his substandard start to the week, but with just the DP World Tour Championship left on the European Tour this season he’s put himself in prime position to claim the Race to Dubai title.