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Rahm grabs share of lead in Dubai

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By Reuters
Rahm grabs share of lead in Dubai
FILE PHOTO: Golf - European Tour - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - St Andrews, Britain - September 28, 2019 Spain's Jon Rahm during the third round Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith   -   Copyright  LEE SMITH(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Spain’s Jon Rahm carded a spectacular six-under 66 to claim a share of the lead after three rounds at the DP World Tour Championship on Saturday and put himself in the driving seat for the season-ending Race to Dubai crown.

Rahm’s four birdies on the back nine moved him up to 15 under at Jumeirah Golf Estates alongside overnight leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera, who dropped a shot at the 18th for the second straight day to shoot 69.

Rahm, who could become only the second Spaniard to win the Race to Dubai or its predecessor the European Order of Merit after the late Seve Ballesteros, refused to get carried away.

“It gives me goosebumps to think about that,” he said. “I’ve said it many times, as a Spanish player, any time you join or you have the chance to put your name on a list where there’s only one name and that name is Seve, it’s pretty impactful. It’s really emotional for all of us.

“To think not even Sergio (Garcia) or Miguel Angel (Jimenez) or Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal) or many other great players couldn’t get it done. It’s hard to believe that I have the chance to be the second.”

World number two Rory McIlroy continued his rollercoaster run in Dubai as he followed up a 64 and 74 in the opening two rounds with a superb 65.

Playing in his final tournament of the year, the Northern Irishman began with two birdies before an eagle on the par-five seventh and a birdie on the next ensured he made the turn in 31.

McIlroy gained two more shots on the back nine to finish two strokes behind the leaders.

Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger’s hopes of ending the season as European number one suffered a blow as he posted four bogeys in a five-hole stretch on his way to a 73.

The Austrian is two under for the tournament, 13 shots off the lead.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood played a stunning bunker shot on the final hole for a birdie to move to 11 under par and stay in contention for his second Race to Dubai title in three years.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)