Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland are one shot behind Matt Wallace and Jeff Winther is two back; defending champion Jon Rahm within five of the lead and Race to Dubai champion Rory McIlroy eight behind; watch the final round live on Sunday from 6.30am on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 18/11/23 1:24pm
Matt Wallace produced a historic back-nine birdie charge to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Wallace came into the weekend seven strokes back but birdied every hole of his back nine during a remarkable Saturday at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where a 12-under 60 lifted him to 16 under and ahead of a congested leaderboard.
The nine consecutive birdies – 12 in total – and the back-nine 27 all equalled historic bests on the DP World Tour, although will not go into the record books because of preferred lies being used during the third round.
Ryder Cup stars Viktor Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood share second after carding matching 66s on a low-scoring day, while Jeff Winther holds fourth spot ahead of Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson and overnight leader Nicolai Hojgaard.
Wallace goes wild in Dubai
Wallace took advantage of the par-five second and holed from 10 feet to pick up a shot at the sixth, then responded to missing a seven-foot birdie chance at the next to convert from 12 feet at the eighth and reach the turn in 33.
The four-time DP World Tour winner started his incredible burst of scoring when he rolled in from 30 feet at the 10th and 20 feet at the par-four next, before adding further birdies from six feet at the 12th and close range at the 13th to close within two of the lead.
Wallace two-putted from 40 feet at the 14th and fired his approaches to tap-in range on the next two holes, with a six-foot birdie at the 17th moving him top of the leaderboard and raising the possibility of a ’59 round’.
The Englishman found the greenside bunker with his approach into the par-five last but was inches away from holing out for eagle, although a tap-in birdie matched the DP World Tour bests for most birdies made in one round and most consecutive birdies.
“What a day, an amazing day,” Wallace said. “I just tried my hardest to get myself back in the tournament. I played great there and at the end there I didn’t even think that it was for a 59, honestly. I think it helped me a little bit, but I just played really nicely down the stretch.”
Fleetwood jumped two clear earlier in the day after five birdies in his opening seven holes, with the former Race to Dubai champion cancelling out a three-putt bogey at the 12th with a monster eagle at the par-five 14th.
The Englishman retained a share of the lead with a birdie at the 16th but bogeyed the next and failed to take advantage of the par-five last, where Hovland holed from seven feet to close a blemish-free 66 and also get within one of the lead.
Winther’s eight-under 64 included a hole-out eagle from the 10th fairway and another eagle at the last, while Hojgaard was within one of the lead until closing a two-under 70 with back-to-back bogeys and falling back alongside Ferguson – who fired a bogey-free 64 – on 13 under.
Defending champion Jon Rahm is five behind after a five-under 67, while Race to Dubai champion Rory McIlroy moved back inside the top 20 on the leaderboard by finding a birdie-eagle finish to close a seven-under 65.
Watch the DP World Tour Championship live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Sunday from 6.30am on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more with NOW.
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