British golfer Justin Rose has admitted that he is aiming to return to the top of the world rankings, ahead of the upcoming Turkish Airlines Open in Antayla. The 38-year-old claimed a hard fought victory at the event last year, carding an impressive -18 to see off nearest competitors Nicolas Colsaerts and Dylan Frittelli. Rose now has another chance to successfully defend a title for the first time in his career, after falling short at the WGC-HSBC last month.
Justin Rose ended his 2017 season with a dramatic charge for the Race to Dubai crown, winning both the WGC-HSBC Championship and Turkish Airlines Open. The 38-year-old currently sits almost 2,500,000 points behind European leader Francecso Molinari on this year’s leaderboard, effectively ruling him out of the race for this year’s title; however, victory at this week’s tournament in Antayla ,could see Rose recapture the World No.1 spot, ahead of Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.
“It would be a great double-whammy,” said Rose “I set many goals between now and the end of the year.
“Last week I had the opportunity to defend and in Indonesia I have the opportunity to defend, as well as here. I haven’t been able to do that many times in my career and that was a goal, certainly for that collective three events.
“But I said a while back, that I wanted to get to world No 1 by winning golf tournaments, and I got there by finishing second at the BMW a month or so ago. This would be a great place to knock off two big goals of mine, which is to get back to world No 1. Once you get a taste for it, it’s quite nice, and to defend a title would be a special feeling, too.”
Rose came dangerously close to defending his WGC-HSBC Championship title last week, finishing four shots behind Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau, with Finau eventually winning the tournament via a playoff. The result marked Rose’s best finish since September’s BMW Championship, where he finished second behind American Keegan Bradley.
“If I look back to a couple of years ago, my team and I put a plan together for what we felt I had to do to get to world No 1, and a big part of that was my putting. But it’s not about just improving your putting, it’s how you go about that.” he added. “We built a bit of a process. I felt I could really improve between three and eight feet, so I built some putting drills to help me improve that. And then this year, on the PGA Tour anyway, where the stats are quite robust and you can look into it a bit deeper, I was No 1 from four-to-eight feet on Tour.”
“So that’s how I choose to set my goals, really, is areas of my game rather than results. I feel like the results take care of themselves from that point of view.”