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Justin Rose, ranked no. 6, is putting the golf world on notice after winning back-to-back titles.
The 37-year-old won the Turkish Airlines Open after sinking a 10-foot birdie on the 18th tee, BBC reported. That was a worthy follow-up to the come-from-behind win at the WGC Champions just last week.
Now, the Race to Dubai standings just got a little more serious. Rose is just behind Tommy Fleetwood after passing Sergio Garcia who now dropped to third place. This wouldn’t have been possible just a few weeks ago when Fleetwood was so far ahead of everybody else that it was also a given he would win the Order of Merit.
The Turkish Airlines Open win moved Rose to 985,495 points, which means he’s just 134,839 behind Fleetwood to claim the $1.25 million bonus.
However, chasing Fleetwood places a lot of burden on Rose who admitted that he’s not used to playing four tourneys in a row.
“I’m focusing on a win in Dubai, an event where I’ve finished second twice, meaning Tommy’s going to have to play some good golf the next few weeks,” he said. “If he does, then hats off to him.”
That means the Order of Merit is still Fleetwood’s to lose especially if he wins the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa on Nov. 9. Rose is sitting out that one although both players will go head-to-head in Dubai.
The last time Rose won the Order of Merit was in 2007.
But there’s a little consolation for Rose who managed to salvage his season with back-to-back wins. He said that just a couple of weeks ago, he would have rated his season at a “B minus.” “Now I’m probably at an A-minus with one putt at Augusta away from being an A-plus,” he said.
As of Oct. 29, 2017, Rose is ranked no. 6, trailing world’s no. 1 Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith (2nd), Justin Thomas (3rd), Hideki Matsuyama (4th), and Jon Rahm (5th).