More Turkish delight can see Rose close in
TURKISH AIRLINES OPEN Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya, Turkey
JUSTIN Rose is far too modest to see it this way but he has been gifted a golden opportunity to close the gap on Race to Dubai pacesetter Francesco Molinari by making a successful defence of the Turkish Airlines Open.
Rose is the only player in the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings competing in this Rolex Series event – in all only six of the leading 50 tee-up – with a $7 million prize fund failing to attract the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Matt Fitzpatrick and The Open Champion Molinari.
It is such a shame – seven of the top 30 compete in the opposite event on the PGA Tour – but for Rose the opportunity to capitalise, with Tommy Fleetwood the only player in the Race to Dubai top five competing, is one too good for him to pass up.
The 38-year-old Englishman has enjoyed a fabulous season – making it to No.1 in the world by winning the FedExCup – and although languishing in 15th place in the Race to Dubai he can still make his presence felt by winning in Turkey for a second successive year.
Thorbjorn Olesen, who won in 2016 when he shot a course record 62, finished fifth last year and the Dane will be a serious threat as he is clearly comfortable on the 7159 yards (par 71) course overlooking the Mediterranean with large, fast greens and fairways that weave between pine and eucalyptus trees.
Tyrrell Hatton, the third highest world ranked player in the field at 23rd, and a Race to Dubai contender, cannot be left out of the staking plan after finishing tenth and 16th the last two years while Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, sixth last year, is worthy of an investment.
Opportunity: Justin Rose