Tommy Fleetwood admits he needs to shoot low over the next three days if he is going to be crowned European number one.
Fleetwood was leading the Race to Dubai going into the season-ending DP World Tour Championship but a poor performance on day one at Jumeirah Golf Estates has seen him replaced in first by fellow Englishman Justin Rose.
The 2013 US Open champion, who was more than a million points behind his compatriot before back-to-back wins in China and Turkey, shot a brilliant six-under-par 66 to move into a share of second alongside Australian Scott Hend, just a stroke behind American leader Patrick Reed.
As for Fleetwood, he laboured to a disappointing one-over-par 73 to leave him in a five-way tie for 46th position with Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Scotland’s David Drysdale, Japanese Hideto Tanihara and Dutchman Joost Luiten.
The three-time European Tour winner struggled to hold back his anger after his first round and he admits a big improvement is needed over the next three days if he is to win the Race to Dubai.
“Rosey played absolutely flawless golf today, it was unreal. But there are three more days and, at the moment, it is actually kind of out of my hands all of a sudden. I’ve just got to go out and do my best,” Fleetwood said.
“Being one over is a long way out of it, so if you look in terms of the tournament, I’ve got to shoot something really low tomorrow and Saturday and then it will depend on how Justin plays.”
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