Justin Rose increased his Race to Dubai charge with a second consecutive win at the Turkish Airlines Open to move to second in the rankings.
The 37-year-old began the day two shots behind leaders Nicolas Colsaerts and Kiradech Aphibarnrat and came through a chaotic leaderboard during the final round with a 65 to finish with a one-shot victory.Embed from Getty Images
Just over a week ago Rose sat in a lowly 10th in the European Tour’s league table but two emphatic performances in as many weeks has put the world-number-six up within 140,000 points of the lead.
A win at the WGC-HSBC Champions last week boosted Rose’s Race to Dubai ranking to third, over 1,000,000 points off the leader Tommy Fleetwood and less than 200,000 behind second-placed Sergio Garcia.
To the Turkish Airlines Open, Rose had a great chance to improve his charge with Garcia and Jon Rahm (fourth) sitting out. Steady opening rounds of 69 and 68 at Regnum Carya left Rose well off the pace and heading for a steady, but unthreatening, week.
However, a 64 on moving day shot him to tied third, two shots off the lead; an even more promising prospect considering Fleetwood had struggled to mount a score and sat nine-shots adrift.
Rose increased the pressure early on Sunday, going out in 32 to find himself in a tie for the lead at the turn.Embed from Getty Images
Rose relied on recovery to open the back-nine with two pars after substandard tee shots. An ideal tee shot on the par-five 12th was let down by a snap-hook approach leaving him few options for a chip. A fantastic touch around the green brought a birdie against the odds and moved the Englishman back to the top with Dylan Frittelli at 15-under-par.
Pars followed on the 13th and 14th and a birdie on the par-five 15th rejoined Rose and Frittelli at the top, now at 16-under, after the latter birdied the same hole minutes earlier.
The outright lead was Rose’s for the first time after a second consecutive birdie on the 16th; he stuck his approach to 12-feet and sunk the following putt to move one ahead. It was short-lived as Colsaerts matched it seconds later to move back into strong contention.
A par on the 17th meant he headed to the final hole of the tournament with a tie for the lead, although many trailing close still had holes to play. Ahead on the 18th green, Frittelli made birdie to make it three men in tied first.
Colsaerts pilled on the pressure with an approach to eight-feet; Rose would respond by replicating that. A putt-off would decide it and Rose came out on top to claim his 10th European Tour title as no-one left on the course could catch his 18-under-par total.
The are two events left this season – the Nedbank Golf Challenge and DP World Tour Championship – for Rose to catch Fleetwood and, currently not confirmed for either, you would expect Rose will use every opportunity possible to come out as the 2017 Race to Dubai champion.