Rose goes to world num­ber one af­ter Turk­ish play­off win

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports -

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.

‘Quite tricky’

“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.

Au­to­matic ticket

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.

he added.

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

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