Rose goes to world number one after Turkish playoff win
which was like a dress rehearsal for the horror show that followed.
After Rose shot a final round 68 to Li’s 71 for both to finish on 17-under-par 267, the drama continued into sudden death. And if it seemed that Li had stolen the initiative off the tee with a huge adrenaline fueled drive, and Rose taking a more conservative five-wood, it was very much Li’s to win when he hit his approach in to 10 feet. Rose two-putted from 20 feet for his par, but Li succumbed to the pressure with the title on the line and raced his 10-footer three feet by the hole and then missed the return putt. Li dropped his putter, put his hands to his face. But there was no place to hide. Even Rose looked uncomfortable.
“There were moments out there where it looked like both of us weren’t holding our nerve very well. It was quite tricky to putt coming in, to be honest with you, and obviously 18 (took) a scalp there at the end; that’s a treacherous green and one you definitely needed to respect,” said the back-to-back champion.
Rose – who successfully defended a title for the first time in his career – added over ¤1million to his bank balance and moved back to the top of the world rankings for a second time. His first stint lasted just one week, ironically after suffering a playoff defeat to Keegan Bradley in the BMW Championship in September.
‘Buck that trend’
“Yeah, I was very keenly aware of losing in a playoff to Keegan and my playoff record of late hasn’t been great. I really wanted to buck that trend and get through this playoff today. Fooch (caddie Mark Fulcher) and I, we’ve learned from some of our mistakes in playoffs, and I was distracted by a cart on 18 playing Keegan, just tried to go through it. Golf cart went behind me during the playoff; I had to take a moment. So it was
The last time Justin Rose reached the world number one spot he stayed there for just one week
amazing how I was challenged with the same mental thoughts as BMW, and you learn, even at my age and position in the game, you’re still learning weekly and it was nice to put this playoff away.”
Shane Lowry shot a final round 68 for 11-under-par 273 to secure a share of 14th (winning ¤87,851) while Paul Dunne’s 70 for 274 left him in tied-18th (¤76, 186) Pádraig Harrington hit speed bumps on the homeward journey – including a costly triple-bogey seven on the 10th – to sign for a closing 72 for 278 in tied-35th, adding ¤40,949 to his order of merit standing.
If not contending for the win, Harrington’s pressure was of a different kind. His target was to secure an automatic place in the field for the Nedbank Challenge to keep alive his bid to reach the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and he was motoring along nicely until the wheels came off on the par four 10th, where he hit his drive into the lake and compounded matters by putting his next into the water too in running up a triple bogey seven.
Harrington still had that automatic ticket in his grasp, until a bogey-bogey finish saw him drop out of the top-64 available players on the Race to Dubai order of merit to get into Sun City. “I have got to say, and I am being honest about this, but I would hate to be a tour pro playing for his card every day. It’s so annoying. I don’t mind playing to win a tournament but it is really hard to play when you are trying not to make a mistake. It’s just horrible. It felt horrible,” said the Dubliner.
“I played great for three rounds and today I putted well and scrambled great but you never would want to be hanging into a position as it is not an easy thing to do, to be defending,”
Justin Rose plays a shot out of a bunker during the final round of the Turkish Airlines Open at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort in Antalya yesterday.
Harrington was still on the charter flight out of Turkey to South Africa, but with a sponsor’s invitation to play in the tournament rather than the automatic spot in the field (he finished two places outside the 64 available) he’d so badly wanted.
For Lowry, there were positives in a weekend move which yielded a top-15 finish. “It’s an alright week considering how I feel like I played. I didn’t hole anything and I felt I wasn’t 100 percent off the tee. Mentally I was very good.
“I kept going today when it was tough,” said Lowry, who headed on to Sun City with the belief that he can still achieve his target of reaching the top 30 on the moneylist by season’s end. He moved up one spot to 41st.
Dunne – who’d led after the first round – eventually finished in tied-18th. “I just kept hitting it to 20 feet, didn’t make any putts all day. It’s kind of disappointing, one under was pretty poor for how I played. But it is what it is. It is even worse when you see Shane there one shot ahead of me when I finished,” he quipped. CRICKET 1st Test, D4 GOLF Gary Player GOLF P d Carmen SNOOKER Coventry NBA Utah CRICKET 1t Test, D5 GOLF Sun City SOCCER (12.30) DARTS Grand Slam RUGBY (2.00) RUGBY (2.30) RUGBY (3.00) RUGBY (5.20) SOCCER (5.30) RUGBY (6.30) GOLF Mexico BOXING Manchester SNOOKER Coventry RUGBY (8.05) NBA LA