More Turk­ish de­light can see Rose close in

TURK­ISH AIR­LINES OPEN Reg­num Carya Golf & Spa Re­sort, An­talya, Turkey

The Racing Paper - - Golf - by Mitchell Platts

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

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