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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Justin Rose targeting title defence and top spot at Turkish Open

'It would be a great double-whammy,' said the 38-year-old Englishman

Justin Rose finished third at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai last week. AFP
Justin Rose finished third at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai last week. AFP

Justin Rose is targeting the "double whammy" of the first successful title defence of his career and a return to the top of the world rankings in the Turkish Open.

Rose spent two weeks as world No 1 earlier this season after finishing second in the BMW Championship, but would love to get back to the summit in style with a second consecutive victory at the Regnum Carya resort in Antalya.

"It would be a great double-whammy," said the 38-year-old Englishman, who finished third in the defence of his WGC-HSBC Champions title in Shanghai on Sunday. "Last week I had the opportunity to defend and in Indonesia [in December] I have the opportunity to defend as well as here.

"It's something I haven't been able to do many my career and that was a goal, certainly for that collective three events.

"I said a while back that I wanted to get to world No 1 by winning golf tournaments so this would be a great place to knock off two big goals of mine, because once you get a taste for being No 1 it's quite nice and to defend a title would be a special feeling, too. I'm keenly aware of the situation.

"I very rarely set outcome goals, like I want to win a major, I want to do this, I want to get to world No 1. I really focus on the areas that I think I can improve in my game and a couple of years ago my team and I put a plan together for what we felt I had to do to get to world No 1 and a big part of that was my putting.

"I felt I could really improve between three and eight feet, so I built some putting drills to help me improve that. And then this year, on the PGA Tour I was ranked No 1 from four to eight feet.

"That's how I set my goals but as early as May this year people started talking to me about world No 1. There was a mathematical chance at the Players Championship, which surprised me.

"I didn't realise it was that close to me, really, and once it was on the cards it became more of a goal and once I achieved it was a milestone moment in my career and one that I'm proud of for sure."

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