Sam Torrance: Faltering Race To Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood must forget what's at stake and play like it's the first week of the season

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Fleetwood has seen his lead virtually wiped out in the last two weeks (Source: Getty)

As we head into the final fortnight of the European Tour season the Race To Dubai is still up in the air.

Justin Rose’s back-to-back wins mean that he is now just 134,838 points behind Tommy Fleetwood and unless the leader can produce an enormous performance this week in South Africa then the tussle for the $1.25m prize will go down to the very last event.

Rose, who is vying for a second European order of merit crown, was extraordinary once again as he landed the Turkish Airlines Open with another blistering back nine on Sunday.

Read more: Justin Rose wins again to slash Fleetwood's Race To Dubai lead

Seven days earlier in Shanghai he made a great par save at the ninth hole; this time he did the same at the 10th before going bananas down the stretch.

This is as good as I have ever seen Rose play. He has reached these heights before, for instance when he won the US Open in 2013, but we are seeing it more often now.

He has always been one of my favourites. His swing is up there with the best and his work ethic is as good as anybody’s. At 37, he just seems to be getting better.

Rose has really thrown down the gauntlet to Fleetwood with consecutive titles. While his fellow Englishman heads to Sun City this week for the Nedbank Golf Challenge, Rose will head home rubbing his hands.


Back-to-back wins have given Rose hope of a second order of merit title (Source: Getty)

Fleetwood had been coasting at the top of the Race To Dubai standings. Now, all of a sudden, there is virtually nothing between him and his closest rival, and the 26-year-old will be feeling humungous pressure. It may not matter in the end, but he is limping towards the finish line.

It’s now down to Fleetwood to capitalise on his chance to win extra prize money and ranking points this week before the finale, the DP World Tour Championship.

Unless he is in the top five or six at Sun City, he won’t be far ahead of Rose when they meet again in Dubai next week.

Fleetwood will love the course at Sun City and knows it well from three previous appearances.

To have achieved what he has at his age is already remarkable, so it’s not a case of having anything to prove. Winning the Race To Dubai would be the next rung on the ladder. This is a great challenge for Tommy and a chance to remind us all what he has got.

It’s difficult, but he has to play this tournament like it is the first of the season. He played a great final round in Turkey, with three birdies in his last six holes.

Fleetwood needs to stay in the now, forget about what he could achieve and just get back to playing golf.


Harrington hopes to play for Europe at next year's Ryder Cup (Source: Getty)

Nicolas Colsaerts could be another man to watch this week. The Belgian played fantastically well to finish one shot behind Rose in Turkey and will be bitterly disappointed, having led by five on Saturday.

Colsaerts looks back to his best, though, and is another who should be well suited to Sun City.

Finally, it was good to see Padraig Harrington finish fourth this week. It was only his second top 10 place of the year, but the Irishman has made clear how much he wants to play for Europe at next year’s Ryder Cup and this was an encouraging sign.

Read more: Sam Torrance: Rose blooming in time for Race To Dubai tilt