World No 1 Rose plans to celebrate after win
JUSTIN ROSE will fully celebrate his second spell as world No 1 after capping an extraordinary run of golf with the first successful title defence of his career in the Turkish Airlines Open.
Rose defeated China’s Haotong Li on the first play-off hole after the pair had finished tied on 17 under par following a nervy finish at the Regnum Carya Resort.
The 38-year-old is now a combined 55 under par for his 12 rounds in the £5.4m event after finishing third on his debut in 2013, while he also won its precursor – an eight-man matchplay competition – in Antalya in 2012.
Rose spent two weeks as world No 1 earlier this season after losing out to Keegan Bradley in a play-off for the BMW Championship, but had been determined to get back to the summit in style with a second consecutive victory in Turkey.
“It’s taken me 20 years to de- fend a title so that’s great,” admitted Rose, who has won five times and recorded 24 top-10 finishes in his last 31 events.
“Maybe I haven’t won enough tournaments to give myself enough opportunities to defend, but to do it back-to-back is very special.
“I was very keenly aware of losing the play-off to Keegan and my play-off record of late hasn’t been great. I really wanted to buck that trend. Being world No 1 doesn’t make you one under par on the first tee the next time you play, but it’s something to be proud of for sure.
“I’m sure we’ll re-toast getting to No 1 and this time we have some silverware. Last time it was muted because I was still so mad at not winning the tournament, but this time I have that double winning feeling so it might be a bit more fun this time.”
A poor finish to Saturday’s third round had left Rose three behind Li at the start of the day.