Justin Rose sets sights on Race to Dubai title after unexpected Shanghai triumph

01 November 2017 01:24

Justin Rose admits he feels like he stole a victory in last week's WGC-HSBC Champions, but that will not stop him from trying to pinch the Race to Dubai title from Tommy Fleetwood.

Rose came from eight shots behind world number one Dustin Johnson in the final round to win his first tournament of the year in Shanghai, which lifted him from 10th to third on the money list.

The Olympic champion is still more than a million points behind his fellow Englishman, but 985,000 points are on offer for the winner of the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya, where Rose won the precursor to the event - an eight-man matchplay competition - in 2012.

"Sunday was one of those fortunate days that you get once in a while in your career where you kind of feel like you steal a tournament," Rose said.

"Starting the day you don't expect Dustin Johnson to help you out so much, but you kind of know in the back of your mind that if you play a special round of golf, it's still possible.

" I think maybe we've all had a win in our career that's unexpected and certainly that was the case for me last week. But it was one of those rounds where everything happened for me on the back nine and everything happened just at the right time.

" What I was pleased about is that when the opportunity presented itself, when I knew I was in a tournament, I managed to close out strongly."

Asked if ending the year as European number one for a second time had been a major goal before Sunday, Rose added: "Y eah, it was on my mind.

"I was very aware that I needed to play some special golf in my last three events. I'm not playing South Africa next week so for me it was always going to be China, then here in Turkey and then take a week off just to go home and see the children and play Dubai.

" The simple maths was I had to win at least two of them. So part one is done, anyway. But it's really now about focusing on the next two events that I have to make a difference. I knew that I had to play some great golf to catch Tommy."

As well as winning Olympic gold in Rio last year when golf returned to the Games after an absence of 112 years, Rose has a major title to his name, a brilliant Ryder Cup record and a total of 19 tournament victories worldwide.

But the 37-year-old insists winning the Race to Dubai - and succeeding Ryder Cup partner Henrik Stenson - is still an important achievement.

"It matters because you've beaten the best players in Europe and for the most part the best players in the world," he added. "If you can win a tournament you've beaten the guys over a week and that's fantastic. But a lot of guys can have hot weeks.

" If you win over the course of a season, that speaks volumes. I think to measure your game over the course of a year tells you that you've really been solid and you've really achieved something special."

Source: PA