Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf

Title defence puts Rose back at number one

 

By Phil Casey

Justin Rose will fully celebrate his second spell as world number one after capping an extraordinary run of golf with the first successful title defence of his career in the Turkish Airlines Open.

Rose defeated China's Haotong Li on the first play-off hole after the pair had finished tied on 17 under par following a nervy finish at the Regnum Carya Resort.

The 38-year-old is now a combined 55 under par for his 12 rounds in the £5.4m event after finishing third on his debut in 2013, while he also won its precursor - an eight-man matchplay competition - in Antalya in 2012.

Rose spent two weeks as world number one earlier this season after losing out to Keegan Bradley in a play-off for the BMW Championship, but had been determined to get back to the summit in style with a second consecutive victory in Turkey.

"It's taken me 20 years to defend a title so that's great," admitted Rose, who has won five times and recorded 24 top-10 finishes in his last 31 events.

"Maybe I haven't won enough tournaments to give myself enough opportunities to defend, but to do it back-to-back is very special.

"I was very keenly aware of losing the play-off to Keegan and my play-off record of late hasn't been great. I really wanted to buck that trend. Being world number one doesn't make you one under par on the first tee the next time you play, but it's something to be proud of for sure.."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph