Tommy Fleetwood takes positives from bogey-free start in Dubai
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 15/11/18 5:29pm
Tommy Fleetwood believes he still has a chance of retaining his Race to Dubai title after making a bogey-free start to the DP World Tour Championship.
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Report and highlights from the opening round of the DP World Tour Championship.
Fleetwood, the only player who can catch Francesco Molinari in the standings, carded three birdies in a three-under 69 at Jumeirah Golf Estates to stay within three strokes of early leaders Jordan Smith and Adrian Otaegui.
The Englishman needs to win the season finale in Dubai and hope that Molinari - who posted a four-under 68 - finishes outside the top-five, with Fleetwood pleased with his opening-round performance.
"Sometimes those are the rounds that maybe win you golf tournaments at the end of the week," Fleetwood said. That's kind of what I've been lacking a little bit throughout the year.
"You come into this week still with a chance of the Race to Dubai, one round down and we still have a chance. As long as our head's above water for that, we'll be happy and keep going.
"I'm just focusing purely on this tournament and today, three under was a good score. You can play great and not shoot three under, so having struggled on the back nine and done it, that's really good."
Molinari, who leads by more than a million points in the standings, briefly held a share of the lead on Thursday before three-putting two of his last four holes to slip two off the lead.
"It's a shame because I putted really well up until the 14th and then I just misjudged the pace on a couple of those putts and left myself more work to do than I needed to," Molinari said.
"My game was OK, probably not my best, but putting and short game was very good up until the 14th, and that's how I built the six-under score to that point.
"It's only Thursday so there are so many things that can happen. Both [Molinari and Fleetwood] of us did not hit the ball our best but we managed to scramble well and close out two decent rounds."
Watch the DP World Tour Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 7am on Sky Sports Golf.