Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
Justin Rose has his eyes set firmly on becoming the European Tour's Number One player for a second time when he tees it up at the Turkish Airline Open - the sixth Rolex Series event of the 2017 European Tour season – following his stunning victory in China last Sunday.
The World Number Six produced the biggest comeback of the season to win his tenth European Tour title on a dramatic final day of the WGC-HSBC Champions when he overcame an eight-shot deficit to defeat World Number One Dustin Johnson.
That victory moved him 1,056,597 points behind fellow countryman Tommy Fleetwood in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, and with US$22.5million up for grabs over the last three events of the season - starting this week at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort – it is still all to play for.
Rose, who tees it up alongside Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson in the first round, finished as European Number One ten years ago and while he has since won a Major Championship, two World Golf Championships and an Olympic Gold Medal, the 37 year old would love to get his hands on the Harry Vardon Trophy again.
He said: "it's wonderful to be back. I've had a couple of really positive experiences here in the Antalya area. The World Golf Final I guess is the precursor to what we have now, which is, you know, a very prestigious event that's in a very important part of the schedule for The Race to Dubai.
"All the players here are excited. We're all challenging, and like Henrik said, we've all got Tommy in our sights. With the prize money being as strong as it is, it offers the opportunity for a lot of the guys to play catch up.
"More importantly, I heard so many great things about this resort from the players last year. Regnum Carya I think is one of the favourite destinations on Tour for the guys. It would have been nice to have the family here with all these facilities. But obviously I've been really enjoying the amenities the last couple of days, but it's about time to get down to business and focus on playing well this week."
The reigning Race to Dubai champion, Stenson, is hoping a strong showing in Antalya will help make up ground in the rankings, as he looks to consolidate his tied second place finish last week in China. The Swede is 2,326,448 points behind Fleetwood and will be playing every week until the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai as he looks to bridge the gap.
Meanwhile, Tyrrell Hatton is looking to continue his recent run of form that has included back-to-back victories at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and the last Rolex Series event, the Italian Open.
The Englishman will play all three remaining Rolex Series events as he hopes to continue his rise in the Race to Dubai Rankings from fifth position, with the US$5million Race to Dubai Bonus Pool divided amongst the leading ten players at the conclusion of the 2017 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.