Molinari leads Fleetwood for Euro No. 1

(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Francesco Molinari missed two par putts from less than two feet in his opening round of the World Tour Championship on Thursday to give Tommy Fleetwood a sliver of a chance of keeping the European Tour season title.

Molinari was cruising at one stage, having reached 6-under par after 14 holes, but three-putted the 15th and 18th holes to finish on 4-under 68 at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Fleetwood, his only remaining rival in the Race to Dubai, completed his bogey-free round with a wonderful 25-foot birdie putt from off the green on the par-5 18th, and finished just one shot behind Molinari at 69.

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Money Leaders: European
Rank Player Earnings
1 Francesco Molinari €4,028,817
2 Tommy Fleetwood €3,129,509
3 Justin Rose €2,967,506
4 Patrick Reed €2,713,496
5 Xander Schauffele €2,677,853
6 Thorbjorn Olesen €2,469,873
7 Rory McIlroy €2,439,412
8 Alex Noren €2,404,770
9 Haotong Li €2,373,782
10 Eddie Pepperell €2,117,810
View Full Leaderboard