Patrick Reed regained control of the title fate Race to Dubai with a brilliant 64 on the second day of the DP World Tour Championship. Reed loaded nine birdies and a solo bogey at Jumeirah Golf Estates to reach 10 under par and enjoy a two-shot lead over Matt Fitzpatrick, with BMW PGA Championship winner Tyrrell Hatton and Laurie Canter at seven under par.
Former Masters champion Reed, hoping to become the first American to top the money list on this side of the Atlantic, raced to the turn at 31 and also birdied at 10 before launching his first shot of the week on 12. The world number 11 bounced back to finish his round in style with birdies on the 15th, 16th and 18th and will now attempt five wins out of six when he has a clear advantage midway through.
“I feel really good obviously going out and pitching an eight-under round and getting into double digits at the end of two rounds,” Reed said. “I feel like the most important thing is that Thursday it looked like I was still burning edges and had a couple of iron shots and scoring sticks that I didn’t hit as close as I needed to.
“I was able to warm up a bit on the field after the round and tense things up and today I gave myself a lot of opportunities. I hit it close on a lot of holes and so I saw the lines a little better and I was able to free the putter and make some putts. “
Reed started the week with a 460 point lead in the standings, but with 2,000 points on offer for the winner, it is mathematically possible that 61 of the 65 men will finish at the top of the money list and claim the Harry Vardon Trophy.
Frenchman Victor Perez was projected to do so when he led after an initial 70, but a second round of 74 left Perez again three behind.
“Honestly, I haven’t looked [at projections]Reed added. “Obviously I know where I am in the week. I know that if I win the golf tournament or finish second by myself, unless there are one or two players who win the golf tournament, I will end up winning the Race to Dubai. “
Fitzpatrick seemed to miss a quick start to his round when he bogeyed on the 14th and 16th and nearly found the water off the tee at par three on 17th, only to make a hole from long range for an unlikely birdie.
“We were laughing that it really was a five on net two,” Fitzpatrick said. “I felt that this year we haven’t had the best of luck, so it’s nice to have that stroke of luck for a change. I just have to make sure I use it to my advantage and start the weekend. It’s always more fun in the last group. That is where you want to be. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully stay there for tomorrow, hang on and move on on Sunday. “
Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood, who can secure the Race to Dubai title with victory on Sunday, are four shots behind the leader after rounds 69 and 68 respectively.
“We have two days left and I still have a chance to win it all, which is something to be very happy about, and I hope I can be here Saturday night with one more day still with a chance,” said Fleetwood, who won. the Race to Dubai in 2017, he was third in 2018 and second last year.
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