Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Race to Dubai title might be only thing Justin Rose doesn't win

Race to Dubai title might be only thing Justin Rose doesn't win

China's Li Haotong fired five birdies on the front nine to grab a three-stroke advantage over holder Justin Rose and Alexander Levy on day three at the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday (Nov 3).

But just at the hole where he had an unlikely eagle, Rose went into the water for the first time and then did it twice more on 15th and 18th for three of his four bogeys during the day at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort.

However, both men missed from under 6 feet for par on the final hole to guarantee a play-off, and the Chinese player then lost his composure on the green on the first extra hole. 'It's taken me 20 years to defend a title so that's great, ' admitted Rose, who has won five times and recorded 24 top-ten finishes in his last 31 events.

Germany's Martin Kaymer (66) shared fourth with Lucas Bjerregaard (67) of Denmark, a shot further back.

The 23-year-old set up a great chance to claim another big scalp after hitting his approach to 12 feet at the first play-off hole - the 18th - only to three-putt, missing from three feet to extend the shoot-out. I was keenly aware I wanted to get back in the winner's circle and it was good to get it done today.

Rose regained sole possession of the lead when he nailed a six-footer on the 16th green shortly after Haotong had shaved the edge with his birdie attempt, but Rose then three-putted from 45 feet at the penultimate hole and the pair were level once again. He shot back, "No, I can't".

The win lifts Rose to third on the Tour s Race to Dubai and while the Englishman mathematically could still win the No. 1 crown he has disappointed the Tour with a decision not to contest the remaining two events. A first successful title defence of his career delivered a nice bonus for the
Englishman as he became world No 1 again after leaping above Brooks Koepka, victor of this same event in 2014.

Victory also sees Rose climb above Brooks Koepka in the world rankings, but sitting top of the pile is just an added bonus for the Olympic champion.

England's Justin Rose has reclaimed his world number one ranking after winning the Turkish Open. Still, I am fine, as the overall game is in good shape.

"I ve had some pressure-packed Sundays of late and dare I say, kind of coming way with consolation prizes in a way", said Rose.

"It's an alright week considering how I feel like I played", said Lowry, who moves up to 41st in the Race to Dubai. "I'm going to have to shoot in the mid 60s and it's maybe easier than if I was one ahead".

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