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Rose doubles up to pile pressure on Fleetwood
Justin Rose again produced a huge weekend to close the gap on Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood while we round up all the best shots and worst outfits.
So what happened at the Turkish Airlines Open?
Last week Justin Rose was eight back after 54 holes, this week he was nine back after 36 holes. Yet we got the same result as Rose carded weekend rounds of 64-65 over the weekend to beat Nicolas Colsaerts and Dylan Frittelli by one. Rose only carded one bogey all week and eight birdies on Sunday, three in the last four including the 18th, got him over the line for his 11th win on the European Tour. And it was his first Rolex Series victory and it moves him just 134, 839 behind long-term leader Tommy Fleetwood with two tournaments remaining, unthinkable a few weeks ago.
“I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve rolled in many putts on the 18th green to win a tournament and obviously the way things were unfolding on the course, I knew that that putt on 18 was critical, whether it be for a play-off or it be for the win. It was a very satisfying putt on 18 to make when I had to,” said Rose.
It was one of the great Sundays of the year on the European Tour with South African Frittelli (64) chipping in three times in a run of five straight birdies while Colsaerts (66) birdied 15, 16 and 17 and had an eight-footer to match his playing partner Rose to force a play-off but his putt slipped by.
“I hit an unbelievable 5-iron that never left the pin, exactly how I wanted it. I didn’t think that it was going to move that much. Could have been a little more aggressive with it but I still feel like I gave it a good try,” said the Belgian.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington needed to eagle the last to force a play-off but made par and had to settle for fourth place with defending champion Thorbjorn Olesen a shot further back.
Rose wasn’t considered by many in finishing the year as the Race to Dubai champion and, with Fleetwood finishing in a tie for 23rd, his lead was slashed by a huge chunk this week. Fleetwood will now head to the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City but his compatriot Rose will take the week off. And Rose isn’t planning to change his schedule.
“(Playing) four in a row is not something that I do. I feel like by the fourth week you’re hoping to play well, not knowing you can play well, especially travelling through all these time zones,” Rose said.
“I put myself in a predicament about next week. I didn’t quite fully anticipate being so close to Tommy but the good thing is I can look at Dubai two ways. If I win, then depending obviously on what Tommy does next week, we’ll have to see. It’s in Tommy’s hands still but it’s exciting to be within touching distance.”
Ian Poulter was cruising along when this happened. In mid flight he’ll have gone from eyeing a kick-in birdie, maybe a hole out, to asking where the drop zone is. Last week Henrik Stenson was on the wrong end of huge slices of bad luck flag ricochets but at least his next shots were always a putt.
Unluckiest shot of the year? pic.twitter.com/K8hAKXg07t— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 3, 2017