The Englishman had just wrapped up his second victory in as many weeks on the European Tour and moved himself into the thick of the year-ending Race to Dubai with just two events remaining.
Rose, who won last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in China, withstood a frenzied give-and-take with a host of players, including Harrington, to finish at 18 under and win the Turkish Airlines Open by a stroke.
But as rewarding as the triumph may have been, it was how he closed out the title that Rose was particularly pleased with.
Tied with South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts at 17 under on the final hole, Rose hit a 5-iron to 10 feet at the last and rolled in the birdie putt.
“It’s just sort of evidence, you’re going to have putts that miss and you’re going to have putts that are going to go in and you’re going to win and you’re going to lose,” said Rose, who lost to Sergio Garica at the Masters in a playoff after missing a similar birdie putt at the 72nd hole. “The overriding thing as a player is that you have to commit to your process.”
Rose’s plan for the fall was to try and win two of his final three starts to put himself into contention for the Race to Dubai and his victory in Turkey moved him to second on the list, just behind Tommy Fleetwood.
“I love Dubai. I feel like it’s a tournament I have won, actually, because I remember playing the last hole with a two-shot lead and making birdie,” said Rose, who is not playing next week’s event in South Africa. “Rory [McIlroy] was a few holes behind but very rarely are you two ahead playing the last, make birdie and lose. Rory birdied the last five to beat me that year.”