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Honma Hong Kong Open

Justin Rose in red-hot form ahead of Hong Kong Open as Turkey win makes it back-to-back titles

The Olympic champion closes in on European No 1 spot after following up Shanghai victory with Antalya triumph

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 November, 2017, 5:11pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 November, 2017, 8:57pm

Justin Rose moved closer to a second European Tour No 1 title when success in the Turkish Airlines Open at Antalya on Sunday earned the Englishman back-to-back victories for the first time.

Rose birdied three of his closing four holes in a final round six-under par 65 for a one-stroke win with an 18-under par tally on the Regnum Carya course.

The win is Rose’s 10th European Tour success and comes just a week after he captured the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

“This is an incredibly sweet moment and it is like a bus as you wait ages for one and two turn-up at once,” he said, smiling.

The Rio Olympic champion and world No 6 went into the final day trailing by two shots but after a third birdie of his round at the ninth, Rose found himself among three sharing the lead at 14-under.

South African Dylan Frittelli seized the clubhouse lead at 17-under after a round of a seven-under 64 that included seven birdies and with three of those at the fifth, sixth and eighth holes resulting from chip-ins.

Rose then tied Frittelli with a 13-foot birdie at 16 ahead of holing a 10-foot birdie at the last.

“Today was a different type of win but then they are all different in their own way, and to hole that birdie putt on 18 was special as a lot of tournaments I have won have been two putts on the 18th green,” said Rose, who lost a Masters play-off against Sergio Garcia in April.

“So, that was a really unique one for me to make a putt on the final hole that really counted and I was very happy to close it out.

“Actually, my mind went back to Augusta earlier this year as it was a similar length putt I had on the final green but thankfully this one went in this time and they are little moments you have to draw upon.”

Rose, who won the Race to Dubai title in 2007, moved from No 3 in the Race to Dubai to replace second-ranked Garcia and now only trails compatriot Tommy Fleetwood by 134,893 (HK$1.221 million).

Fleetwood posted a last day 68 for a share of 23rd on eight-under par.

Rose also has moved to the top of the European Ryder Cup standings and closer to a fifth European Team cap.

Frittelli eventually shared second on 17-under with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts who signed for a 66.

Frittelli captured the Lyonnnes Open earlier this year however his 515,302 for a share of second is the largest prize cheque of his career and lifted the 27-year old Johannesburg-born golfer 21 spots to 18th in the Race to Dubai.

“It’s a huge result for me as I was really looking at the last three events to try and peek inside the top 30 in the rankings,” he said.

“So I am looking at two more big events that could push my way into the Top-10 hopefully.”