Wallace Leads DP World Tour Championship in Dubai after History-making Back Nine

Golf - The 151st Open Championship - Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, Britain - July 20, 2023 England's Matt Wallace plays out of a bunker on the 18th hole during the first round REUTERS/Phil Noble/ File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
Golf - The 151st Open Championship - Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, Britain - July 20, 2023 England's Matt Wallace plays out of a bunker on the 18th hole during the first round REUTERS/Phil Noble/ File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
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Wallace Leads DP World Tour Championship in Dubai after History-making Back Nine

Golf - The 151st Open Championship - Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, Britain - July 20, 2023 England's Matt Wallace plays out of a bunker on the 18th hole during the first round REUTERS/Phil Noble/ File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
Golf - The 151st Open Championship - Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, Britain - July 20, 2023 England's Matt Wallace plays out of a bunker on the 18th hole during the first round REUTERS/Phil Noble/ File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Matt Wallace hit nine birdies on the back nine to card a third-round 60 at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Saturday, and takes a one-stroke lead going into the final round.

Wallace had 12 birdies in total, but it was the Englishman's run on the last nine holes which saw him become the first male golfer in a top flight tournament to birdie every hole on either the back nine or the front nine, according to Reuters.

Nine consecutive birdies also equals the European tour record set by James Nitties in the 2019 Vic Open and Bernd Wiesberger in the 2017 Maybank Championship. Wallace narrowly missed out on carding only the second 59 in European tour history.

"That was special. I didn't know that if I'd holed that bunker shot on the 18th that it would have been a 59 and I wish I had known because it might have spurred me on to make it," Wallace said.

"I knew it was a nine in a row though and I'm pleased that I'm the first to do it in a single nine. I'll always have that, which is special."

Wallace went into the third-round seven shots behind leader Nicolai Hojgaard, but now holds the lead at 16-under overall, one stroke ahead of Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland.

Fleetwood hit five birdies on the front nine, but two bogeys on the back nine cancelled out his eagle on the par five 14th.

"I played good early on. I looked at the pins this morning and it looked like the pins on the front nine were more accessible than they'd been for me on the first two days," Fleetwood said.

"Played great early doors and not that I was very far away there through the middle stretch of the round but I just felt like it got a bit trickier."

Jeff Winther moved up the leaderboard to fourth overall, just two strokes off Wallace, with an eight-under par round, while Hojgaard is now three strokes off the lead alongside Ewen Ferguson.

World number two Rory McIlroy hit five birdies and an eagle for a seven-under par round, but is eight strokes off the lead going into Sunday's final round.



UEFA Promises More Clarity for Fans and Players on Refereeing Decisions at Euro 2024

 France's Antoine Griezmann, right, and France's William Saliba head the balls during a training session in Paderborn, Germany, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)
France's Antoine Griezmann, right, and France's William Saliba head the balls during a training session in Paderborn, Germany, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)
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UEFA Promises More Clarity for Fans and Players on Refereeing Decisions at Euro 2024

 France's Antoine Griezmann, right, and France's William Saliba head the balls during a training session in Paderborn, Germany, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)
France's Antoine Griezmann, right, and France's William Saliba head the balls during a training session in Paderborn, Germany, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)

Clarity for players and spectators and zero tolerance for serious foul play and dissent — that’s what referees have been tasked with at the European Championship.

UEFA had already announced last month that it would do more to explain decisions to teams, requiring in turn that only captains can approach the referees to discuss them.

And that was emphasized on Wednesday at a media briefing on refereeing guidelines for Euro 2024 that took place at Munich’s Allianz Stadium, two days before host nation Germany kicks off the tournament in the same venue against Scotland.

"Only the captain will approach the referee, the other players they have to think about (playing). That’s it, finish," UEFA managing director for refereeing Roberto Rosetti said.

UEFA has promised that the referees will attempt to give the captains an explanation of key incidents during the match, including what was discussed with VAR.

Any teammate ignoring his captain’s role and approaching the referee showing any sign of disrespect or dissent will receive a yellow card.

Fans, meanwhile, will also get a better understanding of VAR decisions as they will be broadcast on the giant screens in stadiums.

"This is something new. I think it’s very, very, very interesting," Rosetti said. "So we want to give, after the opinion of VAR, a technical explanation for the public. In live, simultaneously, the UEFA expert will prepare the explanation, a technical explanation about what happened in the specific situation.

"For example, on-field review, the referee awards a penalty for handball...technical explanation: Germany number nine touch the ball with his left arm which was in an unnatural position above the shoulder and making his body bigger."

Rosetti has met with all the teams participating at Euro 2024 and their coaches to present the refereeing guidelines for the tournament, including hammering home that any dangerous tackles will be severely punished.

"One of the most important priority in refereeing guidelines is to protect the players," Rosetti said. "To protect the image of the game, but in particular to protect the safety of the main actors of the games.

"We showed them a couple of clips that we are asking to the referees to be very strong in these kind of situations," he added. "So for such situations we asked to the referees to be zero tolerant because this is something that we cannot accept."