Race to Dubai

Stunning Rose suddenly a thorn between Tommy Fleetwood and the Race to Dubai title

By Kent Gray
Justin Rose has suddenly become a silky-swinging thorn between Tommy Fleetwood and the coveted Race to Dubai title.

The 37-year-old Englishman sensationally sealed back-to-back European Tour titles at the $7million Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya on Sunday to close to within 136, 951 points of moneylist leader Fleetwood with just two weeks of the season remaining.

It’s a very uncomfortable calculation for fellow Brit Fleetwood who had rolled into Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort with a buffer of more than a million points and had more than double that a fortnight earlier before Rose rallied from eight shots back (and world No.1 Dustin Johnson imploded) to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

Fleetwood, a none-to-shabby T-23 in Turkey, is scheduled to tee it up in the penultimate Nedback Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player starting at Sun City on Thursday while Rose rests with his family. But almost regardless of what happens in South Africa, the 2016-17 European Tour season shapes as a final tournament shootout between Fleetwood and Rose at the DP World Tour Championship from Nov. 16-19. Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton will possibly feature in the mathematical calculations at Jumeirah Golf Estates but after the past fortnight, the money title suddenly appears Rose’s to win and Fleetwood’s to lose.

Rose birdied three of his last four holes in a closing six-under-65 to finish -18 and pip Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) and sweet-chipping South African Dylan Fritterlli by a shot. The Olympic Games champion and 2013 U.S. Open winner played the weekend in a combined 13 under par after a 64 Saturday.

“It’s like a bus. You wait for ages for one and then two turn up,” Rose said afterwards.

Padraig Harrington closed with a 67 to finish solo fourth while overnight leaders Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry signed for scores of 71 and 72 respectively to finish T-6 and T-8 respectively.

The win makes Rose just the third player to follow up a World Golf Championships win with another victory after Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.


Kent Gray

Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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