Turkish Delight For Justin Rose After Dramatic Climax
HE ONLY went and did it again. Justin Rose, who had been without a victory since the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, birdied the final hole at the Turkish Airlines Open to achieve back-to-back wins and move within a whisker of Tommy Fleetwood at the head of the Race to Dubai.
Fleetwood has led the standings for most of the year and appeared to be destined to finish the season as Europe's No 1, but Rose's victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, followed by his dramatic triumph in Turkey has put a very different complexion on things. Rose has now pocketed about $2m in seven days, has overtaken Sergio Garcia and is breathing down Fleetwood's neck.
Rose and playing partner Nicolas Colsaerts were tied at 17 under par as they stood on the final tee. Both players hit their approach shots to about eight feet. Colsaerts missed his but Rose converted for a fabulous final round of 65 to claim his 10th European Tour title. With just two events left to play, the gap between Fleetwood and Rose is just 134,839 points. So it all comes down to the Nedbank Championship at Sun City and the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
South African Dylan Frittelli, who led until hitting his drive into water at the 10th, finished alongside Belgium's Colsaerts at 17 under after a 64, a shot clear of Padraig Harrington and two ahead of Thorbjorn Olesen, who made an outstanding defence of the title he won 12 months ago.
Rose now has a Rolex Series victory to add to the 2013 US Open and two World Golf Championships, and his win makes him only the third player to follow up a World Golf Championships win with another victory the next week after Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
The Englishman holed a 15-footer for birdie on the second but three-putted the second before taking advantage of the par five seventh and hitting a sublime approach to tap-in range on the ninth, to put him in a four-way tie for the lead at the turn with Frittelli, Harrington and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Frittelli birdied five holes on the trot from the fourth - unbelievably, he chipped in at the fifth, sixth and eighth holes, while Harrington also chipped in for a birdie at the sixth and produced a miracle recovery shot through a sixp-foot gap in the trees at the seventh. He later said that it was one of the best shots he had ever played. The Irishman also produced an incredible par at the 10th after hitting his drive into the trees and his second shot into the water before holing from 60 yards. He then drained a 12-foot putt for an eagle at the 15th to take a share of the lead.
Justin Rose's last two weeks:— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 5, 2017
• 2 events
• 2 wins
• 8 rounds
• 32 under par
• 67.5 average
• €2.4m earned
• €4,417 per shot pic.twitter.com/OFFUyZzHPq
Colsaerts started birdie-bogey then holed a huge putt on the fourth before holing a ten-footer on the 11th to briefly make it a five-way tie at the top. Frittelli birdied the par-five 12th before Rose did the same thing shortly afterwards. Rose, Frittelli and Colsaerts also birdied the 15th.
A superb shot from a fairway bunker from Colsaerts set up a birdie on the 16th and a four-way tie but Rose followed him in from eight feet to take the lead on his own.
The Belgian made it three in a row on the 17th and he and Rose headed to the 18th tee neck-and-neck. Ahead of them, Frittelli holed a 12-footer to move to 17 under and set up a nail biting finish.
Olesen birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th on his way to a 66 to finish a shot ahead of Aphibarnrat who closed with a 71 and England's Eddie Pepperell. Ireland's Shane Lowry, American Julian Suri and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti came next at 13 under.
Patrick Cantlay won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in a playoff to record the first victory of his career on the PGA Tour. The 25-year-old, who has been dogged by a back injury, got up and down from the back of the 18th green to defeat Alex Cejka and Whee Kim on the second extra hole.
“I knew that I'd be able to get to where I wanted to be if I felt healthy," Cantlay said. "If I felt like I didn't have pain and I could practice and prepare for tournaments. I know how to practice and prepare for tournaments, so I can do what I want. I feel like I can play well and compete with anybody.”
Cantlay bogeyed the final two holes in regulation play for a round of 67 to finish on 275, nine under par, at TPC Summerlin. Cejka shot a stunning final round of 63 and had to wait for more than two hours to see whether it would be good enough.
Cejka, Kim and Cantlay finished all square and then played the 456-yard, par-4 18th twice in the playoff, matching bogeys the first time. On the second extra hole, Cantlay escaped the trees in the right rough, hitting a four-iron from 185 yards.
Patrick Cantlay's second playoff hole was an adventure.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 6, 2017
But it ended with his first PGA TOUR victory. pic.twitter.com/TGFdHFQiTB
“I felt like as long as I kept it below the tree branch that was in front of me and cut it enough, I felt like it would go in a pretty decent spot," Cantlay said. "I maybe didn't cut it as much as I wanted to. I think the rough stopped it from being able to spin and get any cut on it, but it ended up in a good spot. It was a good shot.”
Kim bogeyed 18 in regulation for a 66, then went bogey-double bogey on the hole in the playoff. “It was brutally tough," Kim said. "The wind is blowing, and it's really tough.”
Cejka birdied the final four holes in regulation for a back-nine 30. “It was looking very slim for me, and then the wind picked up," Cejka said about the getting in the playoff. "Luckily, the guys were dropping shots and I had the chance. But, you know, it's a tough hole here. You've got to win with a par. I made two bogeys in the playoff, so that's a little bit disappointing.”
Cantlay broke through to win after a remarkable return last season from the back problems. Out of golf since 2013, he didn't miss a cut and made it to the TOUR Championship while playing only 12 events. Part of that was due to an ankle injury that slowed him for two months.
“There's not a lot of give up in me," Cantlay said. "I never really thought about giving it up. I thought maybe there was a chance my back would never feel good enough to play again. But, fortunately, I feel great. I have a good program. I figured out a way to feel good all the time. It's all good. I'm happy to be playing.”
Patton Kizzire (64), J.T. Poston (66) and Chesson Hadley (68) finished a stroke out of the playoff. Hadley bogeyed the 18th in the second-to-last group.
CHALLENGE TOUR FINALE
Clement Sordet claimed a second victory of the season at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final as Scott Fernandez and Bradley Neil secured their European Tour cards on the final day of the Challenge Tour season.
The top 15 in the season-long Road to Oman Rankings will play with the big boys next year and there were several ups and downs during the fourth round at Al Mouj Golf, with Sebastian Heisele and Robin Sciot-Siegrist suffering the heartbreak of falling out of the European Tour places.
Estanislao Goya and Oliver Lindell were also inside the top 15 at the start of play but ended up sharing 11th place, which wasn't good enough to hold those European Tour positions.
Fernandez and Neil both turned in 33 to climb the leaderboard but started to falter on the back nine, each bogeying the 17th before making pars on the last hole knowing that a dropped shot would end their dreams. i
They took the 14th and 15th cards, Neil finishing 4,436 points ahead of Heisele for that final position.
The Hat may have won the Rankings, but hats off to all 15 of our 2017 graduates!— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) November 4, 2017
Sordet’s progress, meanwhile, was relatively untroubled.The Frenchman stretched his overnight lead to four shots with two early birdies and, with the charges of Erik van Rooyen and Goya falling away, he walked down the 18th with a two-shot lead.
A par saw him sign for a two under par round of 70 and a 15 under par total, taking the 25 year old to second place in the rankings, with Marcus Kinhult the runner-up and Fernandez and van Rooyen sharing third place on 12 under par.
The round of the day came from Jens Dantorp, whose 66 secured the Swede his European Tour card in a share of fifth place.
Meanwhile, Tapio Pulkkanen was crowned Challenge Tour Number One, the first Finn to achieve this honour, with the 2017 graduates ultimately finishing like this.
LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR
Indian teenager Aditi Ashok claimed her third Ladies European Tour title in 12 months after a tense finish to the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi.
Ashok began the final round at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club with a two-shot lead and looked to be cruising to victory until a horrific four putts at the par-three 17th for a double bogey. That left the 19-year-old just a shot ahead of England’s Georgia Hall, who had completed a superb closing 66.However, Ashok produced a brilliant approach to the 18th to set up a winning par.
“I’m just glad I came out on top,” she said after a final round of 69. “I just kept giving myself birdie putts and that was the plan on 17 as well. I don’t know how I ended up four-putting but the birdies in the middle (of the round) helped.”
Hall, who had to settle for a runners-up finish for the second year in succession, said: “I’m a little bit disappointed because I thought I needed an eight-under round today and I was ticking the shots off in my head. I hit the ball great all week, but I putted poorly and didn’t hole anything today. All my birdie chances were inside 10 feet. Aditi played great again and managed to get a par on the last, so well done to her
Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth was a shot behind Hall in third, with Cheyenne Woods – niece of Tiger Woods – another stroke back in fourth.
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