Rose rises to the top in Turkey
Tournament: Turkish Airlines Open
Rolex Series: Sixth Rolex Series tournament of 2018
Race to Dubai: Tournament 45 of 47 events
Venue: Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya, Turkey
Prize fund: US$7,000,000
Hashtag: #TurkishAirlinesOpen #Rolex Series
Defending champion Justin Rose will take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the Turkish Airlines Open, the sixth Rolex Series event of the season, after the World Number Two fired a second consecutive round of 65 to move to 12 under par.
The Englishman would go back to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking with a win at Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort, as well as becoming the first player to successfully defend a Rolex Series title.
Rose arrived in Turkey in scintillating form, with five top tens in his last six European Tour events, but the Major winner and Olympic Gold Medallist has an elite chasing pack close behind him.
Tom Lewis, a winner already this season at the Portugal Masters, fired the lowest round of the week so far with a 63 to get to ten under par. He was joined in a share of second place by countryman and 2016 Masters Tournament winner Danny Willett, as well as Danish Ryder Cup star Thorbjørn Olesen, who claimed his first Rolex Series victory at the Italian Open earlier this year.
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui stayed bogey-free through 36 holes to sit at nine under par alongside England’s Sam Horsfield, Frenchman Alexander Levy and China’s Li Haotong.
Reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood and Australian Jason Scrivener are a shot further back at eight under par, while the group of six players at seven under par includes two multiple Major winners in Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Martin Kaymer of Germany.
Justin Rose: “I got off to a good start again and felt really comfortable out of the blocks today. I hit two nice iron shots to start the day into one and two, I felt comfortable from that moment on and set me up for another good day.
“I think it’s iron play to be honest with you. A lot of pin placements are up on shelves, off the side of these greens are a lot of run-offs but you have wedge, nine-iron in your hand. If you get overly defensive, you’re not going to make birdies, but you need to challenge some of those tough pin placements to try and shoot low around here. I think your iron play has to be on point. That’s the key.
“Clearly I’ve been burned by this game many a time and you have to keep working hard. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself, wake up tomorrow and go from there. Every day, I just try to build a new body of work and keep grinding.”
Tom Lewis: “Yesterday was just a bit of rust. I had a couple of weeks off and just that sharpness left me yesterday – a bit of indecision – but today I felt more comfortable. I let my swing go a little bit more and I holed a lot of great putts. I holed a lot of long ones and missed a few short ones.
“I was having a really good time with Tommy (Fleetwood). We haven’t played for a long time and Shane (Lowry), I can’t shrug him off the last few weeks, we’ve played a lot. It’s been good. We had good craic and the guys played well.
“There’s loads of golf left over the next couple days and the players are playing great. I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself.”
Danny Willett: “It was nice. It’s always nice to know that you’re playing good golf in practice and take it from the range and kind of implement it a bit more on the golf course. We’re hitting good shots in practice and movements are good and everything is going okay.
“The main goal this year was for the body at the end of the season to be better than it was at the beginning, which it is, and the golf game is following that trend. We’re moving really well and waking up in the mornings and in the game and everything is good, no painkillers.
“It’s a nice place to be, regardless where the golf was or is. It took a little longer than I wanted it to but it’s getting there now. It’s more where the body is and how that’s feeling.”
Thorbjørn Olesen: “I felt like I played well the first 11 holes. I hit the ball nicely and gave myself a lot of good chances. I sort of lost it a little bit, my concentration, for those last seven, eight holes and didn’t play that well.
“I’ve played a lot of golf this summer. I think with The Ryder Cup, I’ve played something like 11 or 12 out of 15 weeks. It was a long stretch and you can feel it a little bit. I’m just trying to finish the year really good. Hopefully I can get a win here or Dubai.
“Francesco (Molinari, leader of the Race to Dubai) is not on my mind. He’s way too far ahead for me. I’m just concentrating on finishing the year strong.”
130 J Rose (Eng) 65 65,
132 T Lewis (Eng) 69 63, D Willett (Eng) 67 65, T Olesen (Den) 65 67,
133 H Li (Chn) 66 67, S Horsfield (Eng) 66 67, A Otaegui (Esp) 68 65, A Levy (Fra) 67 66,
134 T Fleetwood (Eng) 68 66, J Scrivener (Aus) 67 67,
135 P Dunne (Irl) 64 71, M Kaymer (Ger) 66 69, P Harrington (Irl) 65 70, J Suri (USA) 67 68, N Colsaerts (Bel) 69 66, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70 65,
136 K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 66 70, T Detry (Bel) 66 70, C Paisley (Eng) 67 69, J Luiten (Ned) 70 66, R Knox (Sco) 70 66, T Aiken (RSA) 71 65, D Fichardt (RSA) 68 68, H Tanihara (Jpn) 72 64,
137 L Bjerregaard (Den) 70 67, A Wu (Chn) 66 71, D Burmester (RSA) 72 65, M Wallace (Eng) 67 70, G Green (Mas) 67 70, P Larrazábal (Esp) 68 69,
138 S Lowry (Irl) 68 70, L Westwood (Eng) 66 72, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 68 70, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 67 71, W Ormsby (Aus) 70 68, M Schwab (Aut) 69 69,
139 R Paratore (Ita) 73 66, S Kjeldsen (Den) 71 68,
140 G Coetzee (RSA) 70 70, M Kinhult (Swe) 70 70, L Slattery (Eng) 70 70, B Hebert (Fra) 71 69, A Sullivan (Eng) 72 68, R Fox (Nzl) 69 71,
141 A Johnston (Eng) 71 70, J Lagergren (Swe) 72 69, L Herbert (Aus) 73 68, J Campillo (Esp) 72 69, J Wang (Kor) 70 71, A Chesters (Eng) 72 69, R Rock (Eng) 73 68, S Gallacher (Sco) 70 71,
142 T Bjørn (Den) 73 69, A Rai (Eng) 71 71, A Björk (Swe) 73 69, S Sharma (Ind) 70 72, A Quiros (Esp) 69 73,
143 J Dantorp (Swe) 72 71, R Sterne (RSA) 74 69, N Elvira (Esp) 71 72, A Pavan (Ita) 68 75, T Immelman (RSA) 72 71, A Altuntas (Tur) 74 69,
144 B Stone (RSA) 74 70, M Kieffer (Ger) 70 74, M Pavon (Fra) 73 71, T Pieters (Bel) 75 69,
145 M Korhonen (Fin) 74 71, O Fisher (Eng) 71 74, J Smith (Eng) 74 71,
146 R McEvoy (Eng) 75 71, P Waring (Eng) 75 71, J Guerrier (Fra) 77 69,
147 R Fisher (Eng) 72 75, S Hend (Aus) 73 74,
148 M Southgate (Eng) 78 70,
153 L Acikalin (am) (Tur) 74 79,
157 T Yamac (am) (Tur) 78 79,