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Rose returns to world number one with Antalya title

4 listopad 2018 15:26

Justin Rose moved back to the top of the world rankings on Sunday after successfully defending his Turkish Airlines Open crown with a play-off victory over Li Haotong.

Rose started the final round three shots adrift of overnight leader Li but quickly cut that deficit and found himself favourite with four holes to play.

Li had struggled to match his form from earlier in the week but an eagle at 15 drew him level, the Chinese even having a putt for the title at the last.

But he missed that and Rose also erred to send the tournament to a play-off hole, where Li's putter failed him again, handing the Ryder Cup winner the trophy and a return to the rankings summit ahead of Brooks Koepka.

Li's stunning third-round 63 was quickly forgotten as he bogeyed the second to see his lead cut to two, and Rose was within one when he sunk a birdie at the seventh.

Three birdies in five holes after the turn moved things Rose's way, another dropped shot from Li seeing him temporarily slip back to tie for second with Adrian Otaegui.

He finally got some red on the scoreboard with a four at the par-five 12th but reeling in Rose was proving a challenge.

However, an outstanding approach at the 15th left Li with a simple two-footer for eagle, which he duly dropped to move back level with Rose on 18 under.

Rose edged ahead as he picked up another shot at 16 but he handed it straight back at the penultimate hole, leaving the pair level going down the last.

Despite a visit to the bunker, Rose had an opportunity to win the match in regulation but both men wasted chances, with Rose's effort lipping out as they carded scores of 17 under through 72 holes.

There was more drama to come in the play-off as the pair made their way back down the 18th, where Li was closer with his approach and when Rose missed his birdie putt the door was open.

Rose tapped in for a par leaving Li with a putt for the title, but he rolled it past and duly missed a nerve-jangling effort for par to hand Rose victory.

Behind the leading duo, Otaegui made a late push with a six-under 65, but he had to settle for a share of third with Thomas Detry on -15.

Martin Kaymer's 66 on Sunday earned him a share of fifth with Lucas Bjerregaard, but Danny Willett missed a birdie putt at the last to join them.

Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood's hopes of catching Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari in the Race for Dubai were dealt a blow as he signed for a 69 to finish in a share of seventh on 13 under.

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