Finally! Rose gets the monkey off his back and returns to No. 1

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Justin Rose edged out Haotong Li in a thrilling finish at the Turkish Airlines Open. NCG wraps up the action

What happened at the Turkish Airlines Open?

It was an incredible finish at Regnum Carya. Haotong Li had taken a three-shot lead into the final round, only to stutter his way through Sunday. Justin Rose had pegged back the deficit by the time the playing partners reached the 15th tee, but could only watch on as his Chinese opponent drained an eagle 3.

Rose birdied 16 to regain the lead, before he gave the shot back at the next hole. Both at 18-under on the final hole and both players missed putts from inside six feet for the win.

So back for another go at the 18th and both players found the dance floor in two with makeable putts for victory, only for Li to inexplicably three-putt from 15 feet and hand the title to the Englishman.

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Talking Point

When Li’s third and final putt of the opening play-off hole drifted wide, the camera cut to our champion. Rose exhaled, the relief clear for all to see.

This is a player who is a major champion, an Olympic gold medallist, one of just 23 players to reach World No. 1, and now a 21-time European and PGA Tour champion.

He can now add successful defending champion to his impossibly impressive CV.

And with it, he regains the top spot in the rankings from Brooks Koepka, whose reign lasted just two weeks.

There can be little denying Rose has been if not the best player but certainly the most consistent of 2018.

Rose is a quite ridiculous 70-under-par for his last 24 competitive rounds, and has finished outside the top 20 just twice on the European Tour this season, including seven top 10s.

The 38-year-old will be gutted there aren’t any majors right around the corner, but if the TaylorMade man can continue anything close to this form in 2019, he’ll be among the favourites to add to his single US Open victory from 2013.

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