Race To Dubai 2017: Refreshed Justin Rose ready to pip Tommy Fleetwood at European Tour season finale

 
Frank Dalleres
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Turkish Airlines Open - Day Four
Rose previously won the European order of merit in 2007 (Source: Getty)

Refreshed world No6 Justin Rose believes that his decision to take time off could prove decisive in his bid to pip fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood to the Race To Dubai crown this week.

The Olympic champion, 37, sat out last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, where Fleetwood extended his lead in the European order of merit to 256,737 points with a share of 10th place.

But Rose will overtake him in the standings if he wins the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and, having enjoyed brief respite from life on tour, is primed for one final push.

Read more: Fleetwood increases Race To Dubai lead but leaves door ajar

“Last week I went home, just did everything I could to spend time with the family but also keep my work going. I had my coach down there, kept my physio up, kept feeling good, stayed in the gym,” he said.

Rose won back-to-back events in China and Turkey before his mini-break to slash Fleetwood’s lead and turn up the heat on the 26-year-old.

He added: “It was really important to keep the momentum up mentally more than anything, but I feel like also I have freshened up and that’s going to be the key this week, especially when you get into Sunday.

“It’s a long gruelling race – you’ve got China, Turkey, South Africa, Dubai – it’s a lot on the body for the guys so I just felt that a week off could be valuable. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Rose, who must finish outright fifth or better to overtake Fleetwood, is drawing on his previous European order of merit success 10 years ago when he snatched the top prize by winning the final event.

“I found myself in a similar position in 2007 when I won at Valderrama and won the order of merit that year, so similar feelings to that,” he added.

“If you’d have said to me a month ago that I’d even have a chance coming to Dubai I’d have been delighted. In some ways I know that if I win this week I’m going to win even if Tommy was to finish second.”

Masters champion Sergio Garcia can also still win the Race To Dubai but must win this week and hope that Rose and Fleetwood finish lower than fourth and 20th respectively.

Read more: Sam Torrance: Fleetwood must forget stakes and focus on now

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