Justin Rose goes back to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking after winning the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open. The Englishman successfully defended his title with a playoff win over China’s Haotong Li.

Rose won at the first extra hole after the pair tied on 17 under. The Englishman made a regulation par to Li’s three-putt bogey to go back to the top of the world order. The Chinese player had a 10-foot birdie putt to win, but pushed it four feet past and missed the return to hand Rose the title.

“My heart’s with Haotong, my head’s obviously relieved,” Rose said.


Rose bogeyed the final two holes to drop into the playoff. “I did a lot of good today and then obviously just a bogey-bogey finish. That’s obviously going to be a stinger if it wasn’t to end up going my way.

“A lot of emotions down the stretch. It’s never easy to close it out. I feel bad for Haotong because he was clutch down the stretch.”

Rose started his round slowly with six straight pars, but he came alive in the middle of his round. Four under from holes seven to 14 gave him a two-shot lead on his own on 18 under over Li. However, the Chinese player tapped in an eagle putt at the par-5 15th to draw level.

Rose regained the lead with a birdie at the 16th but then came the inexplicable bogeys on the last two holes.

Li had a chance to win outright in regulation, but he three-putted the 18th and then did so 20 minutes later in the playoff. He was looking for his second win of the season following the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Victory for Rose makes him the first player to defend a Rolex Series event. It’s also his first successful title defense since turning professional.

Most importantly, Rose returns to the top of the world ranking. He was No. 1 following the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship after losing a playoff to Keegan Bradley. He dropped to second behind Brooks Koepka after the Tour Championship a week later.

“It means a lot,” Rose said. “It’s nice to get back. It’s maybe even sweeter to get back I lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley. I was pretty aware that my playoff record hasn’t been that great, so this was one I definitely wanted to win.”