Sam Horsfield is excited to go out alongside Rory McIlroy in the final group at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai as the curtain comes down on the 2021 Race to Dubai. The Englishman had a breakout 2020 as he claimed two European Tour titles and heads into the final round of the season just one shot behind McIlroy as he looks for a maiden Rolex Series win.
McIlroy is a two time winner over the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates and is looking for a second consecutive victory worldwide after lifting the trophy at last month's CJ Cup @ SUMMIT. That will make the Northern Irishman the favourite in many people's eyes but Horsfield refused to be daunted after a third round 69.
Sam Horsfield, statements
"It's going to be a blast," he said. "I've played with Rory a few times. He's a good dude and I'm really looking forward to it. Just try to play good golf again and see what happens."
Joint overnight leader Horsfield was level par for his round but he holed a 60 footer at the 14th for eagle and from 23 feet at the next before putting a stunning second to six feet at the 16th to share the lead. A bogey at the last then took the gloss off a performance which Horsfield described as "a little sloppy"
"It wasn't my best stuff," he said. "It was nice to make that eagle on 14. Made a 60 footer across the green and that was nice. Got the momentum going for the next few holes." Robert MacIntyre and Alexander Björk were then a further shot off the lead as they both also search for a first Rolex Series victory.
MacIntyre made a 72 foot putt for birdie and also carded an eagle in his 67 and the Scot was delighted to see his plans come to fruition. "We set a game plan at the start of the week and tried to execute it as good as we could," he said.
We had the idea of four under every round. Yesterday I dropped a shot, today I gained a shot. So we are right in the position that I was planning on being in. "I'm playing great and I'm committing to every shot and I'm accepting everything.
That's when I play my best golf." Swede Björk was a picture of consistency as he picked up two birdies on the front nine and while he gave gains on the 12th and 14th straight back, a closing birdie saw him sign for a 69.
"I'm just trying to play as good as I can," he said. "I don't know why it's better than the rest of the season but I feel a little bit more comfortable on the course at the moment, so I think that helps.
Just try not to think about it much. "Obviously it's the Race to Dubai final and last tournament of the year. You always want to win it - see what happens tomorrow."