New world number one Rose revels in ‘very special’ victory

Aubrey Yates
November 7, 2018

Justin Rose achieved his double aim of defending his Turkish Airlines Open title and returning to the top of the world rankings after a bad mistake from Haotong Li at the first play-off hole.

"The eagle was the highlight of my day, for sure, and that was quite a special moment for myself", he said smiling.

"I saw my name at the top of the leaderboard".

The Turkish Airlines Open is part of the Rolex Series, the premium category of events on the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

He would also join countryman Wu Ashun as only the second golfer from China to win three times on the Tour after Li claimed a maiden triumph at the 2016 China Open.

Koepka entered the week No. 1 in the world, with Rose just behind him, and Rose's win this week helped him take back the top spot.

Rose can return to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking if he wins Sunday.

He sent a ball into the water at the 10th and then ended his round with a dropped shot after finding water off the tee.

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"As of now, I am playing the Hero at home, try to roll out of bed for that one, and Indonesia", he said.

He lagged to five feet after Rose splashed out to the same distance, but both were unable to convert their par putts as the tournament had to be decided in overtime, and Haotong will not want to revisit his rush of blood back on the 18th green.

Another mistake from Haotong gifted Rose the outright lead at the 11th, although the 25-year-old did well to make his first birdie of the day at the long 12th to match the four of the Englishman, who then opened up a two-shot advantage when he holed from 10 feet for birdie at the 14th.

Disappointing for me to finish five, five really. "I don't have a go-to up on that particular hole". Still, I am fine, as the overall game is in good shape.

"It's going to be an exciting day for tomorrow, and looking forward to go against Rosey".

"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. Of course, it could have been better.

But Rose had been in such fine and seemingly unflappable form for the first two days that when he went out with a two-shot lead at the Regnum Carya Course where he won a year ago, nobody expected these slip-ups, even if his 69 was far from disastrous. "So you just have to come out tomorrow like I did today and play well". "I wanted to get back in the winner's circle and, while it would be good to sit down for my Christmas turkey dinner as world No 1, I'm not going to stress about it".

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