Justin Rose wins Turkish Airlines Open, retakes No. 1 ranking

  • Justin Rose wins Turkish Airlines Open, retakes No. 1 ranking

Justin Rose wins Turkish Airlines Open, retakes No. 1 ranking

Rose rallied from a three-shot deficit going into the final round with a three-under 68 and then defeated Li Haotong of China on the first play-off hole with a par to win the Turkish Open for the second straight year.

"It's taken me 20 years to defend a title, I guess, so that's great", he said.

More than having the top ranking, the Englishman goes home with a trophy.

The tournament - hosting 78 players for the competition - was held on November 1-4 at the Regnum Carya Resort.

"It's going to be an exciting day tomorrow and I'm looking forward to going against Rosey", Li, victor of the Dubai Desert Classic in January, said. Rose shares second with Frenchman Alexander Levy on 14 under.

"I'm sure we'll re-toast getting to number one and this time we have some silverware".

"I like to play aggressive and for sure tomorrow, I will need a low one, but I will stay patient and try my best".

It is the first time Rose has retained a title in his career and he was delighted to get over the line again in Antalya. I was very keenly aware of losing the play-off to Keegan and my play-off record of late hasn't been great.

A dramatic play-off saw Rose miss a birdie putt before Li did the same and subsequently pushed his par attempt wide of the hole to hand his rival the crown.

Rose struck what looked like the killer blow with a birdie at the 14th, but Li responded with a stunning approach to the par-five 15th to set up a tap-in eagle as Rose three-putted from long range for par. He lost a playoff to Sergio Garcia at the Masters previous year and also finished tied second behind Italian Francesco Molinari at the Open at Carnoustie in July. A first successful title defence of his career delivered a nice bonus for the
Englishman as he became world No 1 again after leaping above Brooks Koepka, victor of this same event in 2014.

Of his chip-in and then the eagle, Haotong said, "That was quite a special moment for myself, and second shot was like 173 something and 8-iron, tried to hit a high fade, which I did, but little bit flyer high and finished pin-high, which is a little long, and lucky from the top and rolls in".

"The fun thing is I still feel like there's improvement to be had and that's what I'm looking for".

Victory also sees Rose climb above Brooks Koepka in the world rankings, but sitting top of the pile is just an added bonus for the Olympic champion.

But Rose's victory in Turkey - the 23rd title of his career - took him back to golf's summit for the second time.