Justin Rose is No. 1 in the world again.
He can thank Haotong Li for that.
Rose went back-to-back in the Turkish Airlines Open Sunday but he had a lot of help from the 23-year-old Chinese overnight leader.
Li three-putted at the 72nd hole then again in the playoff to gift-wrap the victory for Rose.
In regulation, Li missed from five feet at the 72nd green then agonized, figuring Rose would simply hole his own four-footer for the win. Then Rose choked as well.
The two finished tied at 17-under and headed back up the 18th.
Li then three-putted again, handing Rose the title and the world’s No. 1 ranking.
“I’ve had some pressure-packed Sundays of late, dare I say, coming away with consolation prizes in a way. World Number One after losing in a play-off, finishing fourth but winning the FedExCup. I was keenly aware I wanted to get back in the winner’s circle and it was good to get it done today,” Rose said after getting the first title defense in his long career.
“The fun thing is I still feel like there’s improvement to be had and that’s what I’m looking for. I’m really looking forward to the off-season to still work at a few things and still get better. I think that’s the exciting part, at 38, I still feel like there is improvement to be achieved. It’s taken me 20 years to defend a title, I guess, so that’s great,” he said.
“More Majors, that’s what I’m interested in, trying to chase down as many as I can.”
The Race To Dubai moves to the Nedbank Challenge this week at the Gary Player Golf Club in Sun City, South Africa then the tour finale the following week at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.