ANTALYA, Turkey – The subtext at this week’s Turkish Airlines Open moved one round closer to reality on Friday with Justin Rose posting his second-consecutive 65 for a two-stroke lead.
Rose, who won the event last year and is 71 under par in 15 competitive rounds in Turkey, can move back to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a victory on Sunday. The Englishman moved into the top spot following his runner-up showing at the BMW Championship in September but only stayed there for two weeks.
“It’s nip and tuck,” Rose said earlier this week. “There’s so many great talents out there and they are capable of great stretches of golf. To see someone have it for two, three years, might be tricky but I think certainly someone can win two or three times like that and build the lead for six months quite easily.”
Full-field scores from the Turkish Airlines Open
Rose’s point is valid considering there have been four different players who have moved into and out of the top spot this year, but with a win this week in Turkey, Rose could put some distance between himself and the rest of the field in the world rankings.
Rose will likely defend his title at the Indonesian Masters and will also play the Hero World Challenge, a limited-field event with plenty of OWGR points on the line.
By comparison the other players who are vying for the top spot – including current No. 1 Brooks Koepka and No. 3 Dustin Johnson – will likely only play the Hero World Challenge.