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Tough day for the Irish as Rose eyes World No.1 spot

 

By Phil Casey

Paul Dunne and Padraig Harrington could only watch in admiration as Justin Rose continued his drive back to the top of the world rankings in the Turkish Airlines Open.

The Englishman cruised to a second successive 65 on a trying day for the Irish at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, closing with a textbook birdie to lead by two shots from Dane Thorbjorn Olesen (67) and English pair Danny Willett (65) and Tom Lewis (63) on 12-under par.

The Olympic champion, who must retain the title to become World No.1 again, was at his best as Dunne and Harrington hit a succession of bum notes.

The young Greystones star got so angry with himself at the 16th, where he drove into the trees and hit another with his recovery en route to a bogey, that his curses were beamed into homes across the world and he took to Twitter to beg forgiveness.

"Apologies for the on-course language to anyone watching," Dunne tweeted after doing well in the end to limit the damage to a level-par 72 that left him tied for 11th with Harrington on seven-under, five shots behind Rose.

Shane Lowry also turned the air blue after he hit a bad tee shot left into thick rough at the 17th, plugged his overambitious second in a bunker and made a double-bogey six en route to a 70 that leaves him a daunting eight shots off the pace on four-under.

"Just a bad day on the greens," he sighed. "I missed putt after putt. It's a tough day when you are doing that. I played lovely and was very happy but by the end of the round I was worn out. It was a killer. It wore me down."

At the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final. Spain's Adri Arnaus takes a three-stroke lead into the final round after his five-under 67 yesterday.

Michael Hoey shot a four-under 68 to move up to tied 18th, but at four-under, he's seven shots outside the top three finish he would need to make the top 15 in the money list who will earn European Tour cards today.

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