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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Francesco Molinari in pole position to win Race to Dubai despite 'another wasted opportunity' at DP World Tour Championship

Italy's British Open champion will win the European Tour order of merit if Tommy Fleetwood fails to win the tournament

Francesco Molinari tees off at the third hole during his third round at the DP World Tour Championship. Getty Images
Francesco Molinari tees off at the third hole during his third round at the DP World Tour Championship. Getty Images

Francesco Molinari remains on course to win the Race to Dubai, even though he admitted he is running out of steam with one round left to play in the season.

The Italian, who leads the money list by around a million points, signed for a 2-under par 70 at the DP World Tour Championship on Saturday, which left him in a share for 28th place.

The only player in the field who can prevent Molinari finishing top of the order of merit is his good friend Tommy Fleetwood.

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That appears unlikely at present. Fleetwood needs to win the tournament, with Molinari finishing outside the top five.

When Molinari was signing his card after Round 3, Fleetwood was toiling at 1-over for his first 13 holes. That left him at 7-under for the tournament, and a share for 17th place.

“Just another wasted opportunity to be honest but it is what it is,” Molinari said of his fitful round.

“This time of the year, I think I'm trying my best but there's not a lot in there left. There’s one more round, and we'll see what I can do tomorrow.”

Molinari is still hopeful he can recover his best form on Sunday.

“It's something new I've never really experienced, and I kind of tried to convince myself that I'm feeling better week-after-week, but then a round of golf and I'm back where I started,” Molinari said.

“I think on Thursday, there was a little bit of adrenaline going and that helped me, definitely, to start with.

“But at the moment it's just hard to keep the focus or 18 holes. Tomorrow, I feel there's a low one there because I'm hitting the ball well and I'm putting well enough; it's just a matter of doing it for 18 holes.”

The British Open champion said winning the Race to Dubai would represent a career highlight.

“It would mean a lot, no doubt,” Molinari said. “I don't know how many chances you get in a lifetime, in a career, to achieve something like that.

“It would be great. Obviously it's not really so much in my hands now. I need to go out tomorrow and try to shoot 8-, 9-, 10-under if possible, and if not, just sit down and see what happens.”