Sports

Justin Rose looking to bloom once again in his favourite yard in Turkey

V Krishnaswamy Antalya | Updated on November 06, 2019 Published on November 06, 2019

Justin Rose   -  AFP

Justin Rose is the kind of guy who has time for everyone. He will stop, answer a question; stop, sign an autograph; stop, and allow a fan to take a selfie. It could go on and on.

He is also an amazing golfer with his bio including a Major; two WGC titles; an Olympic Gold; No 1 spot on both sides of the Atlantic — the PGA and the European Tours; overall World No 1 a few times; and a crucial member of the Ryder Cup-winning teams. Yet, it was not until last year, in Antalya, at the Turkish Airlines Open, that he successfully defended a title. Now, he is looking at a ‘three-peat’.

‘Little disappointing’

Though he still has the DP World Tour Championships in Dubai and the Hero World Challenge to play before Christmas, Rose called 2019 a “little disappointing”. He said, “Yeah, I think my season’s been slightly disappointing for the most part. I think that I’ve sort of struggled with a little bit of the rhythm of the schedule and just various things. I’ve basically been trying to fix my game on the road a little bit, just the way weeks off have been.

“So yeah, I’ve battled with that a little bit. But at the same time, I’ve won this year, so you can never really turn your nose up at that. If I was to win this week, a multiple-win season is certainly never, never, never a bad year.”

He added, “I think the run of the last few events offer the opportunity to really turn it around. I think for me, that’s going to be very important going into 2020, as we all know, is going to be a big year. To close out this year, I think is key in terms of one, punctuating a decent year, but two, setting up a great year next year.”

This year Rose won the Farmers’ Insurance Open on the PGA, besides being T-3 at US Open and third at Wells Fargo and four other top-10s, including the PLAYERS and the WGC-Dell Matchplay.

Rose is looking at joining an elite band of players. Only World No. 1s Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam and eight-time European Tour No 1 Colin Montgomerie have won a European Tour event outside of the Major and World Golf Championships in three consecutive years. Rose could join that club on Sunday at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal if he wins the Turkish Airlines Open again. He said, “You don’t get the opportunity to do that very often, so a ‘three-peat’ would clearly be a first for me. It is something that sneaks up on you.”

“It’s one of those little asterisk moments in your career, where you actually did win three tournaments in a row. It’s just a cool moment.”

Rose’s first two victories came 15 minutes west at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort but he finished third at Montgomerie Maxx Royal in 2013 and believes he has the game to challenge over the layout.

On the course and this week, he said, “I think the key is to play the Par-fives well. The Par-fives tend to be reachable. If you can have a good week with the driver and get the ball off the tee really well, that will offer the opportunity to make those birdies on the Par-fives. It could be a low scoring week.” Finally, he added, “I’ve definitely been struggling a little bit. But I feel like I’ve been working hard on my game and I’m seeing signs of it turning the corner. I definitely feel motivated to try and kick on again and try to find the level that I was at this time last year.”

His win in Turkish Airlines Open last year took him back to World No. 1. And he is motivated enough to get that momentum going as he gets ready to defend his Olympic title, too, next year.

Published on November 06, 2019
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