independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Rose cashes in as red-hot putter seals Turkish spoils

JUSTIN ROSE should trademark his favourite number. JR17 might not push CR7 off the balance sheet of the world's sporting rich, but what's a couple of mil between friends?

The Turkish Airlines Golf final turned on another 20-footer arrowed into the back of the cup on the penultimate hole.

If Lee Westwood's wand had been half as hot as it was on Thursday, another Rose monster on the 17th green might not have saved him. Yesterday, it was good enough to give him a two-stroke cushion to take to the 18th, and ultimately the $1.5m (€1.16m) first prize.

Rose closed with a 66, one better than Westwood, who peppered the final pin just as he had so many others. His birdie from four feet mocked a day of comparative toil on the greens. Rose acknowledged the pattern developing at the business end of his rounds.

On the second morning here in the group stages, he saw off Westwood in exactly the same way, drilling a putt from distance on 17.

In the Ryder Cup at Medinah, Phil Mickelson recoiled at the sight of a 40-footer disappearing to level their match with a hole to play.

Flipped

"I came off the back of a short missed putt at 16. Lee flipped the script on me there," Rose said. "I thought his ball was in the hazard, but he ends up making four and I make five, so the lead is down to one. From that moment on, it is going to be a tight finish.

"He hit a really great shot into 17 and I really felt I needed to make that putt. I made a putt against him on 17 already this week.

"Obviously, the 17th against Phil came to mind, too. I did think about that. It doesn't make you make the putt, but it is a good, positive experience to think about. It was a little double breaker, a quick putt. I read it beautifully and once I started it on line I knew it would get to the hole."

Rose is building a holiday home in the Bahamas, as you do. It is the kind of palazzo that requires payments in instalments. He speculated that yesterday's cheque would probably mean a nicer tile in the kitchen.

The agents' fees and stamp duty will swallow most of the $1m (€772,000) banked by Westwood, who is selling his 51-acre spread in Worksop in England and relocating to Florida. At this stage of his career, the numbers that matter most to him are those in the winners' column.

Westwood said: "It's been a great week. Other than the financial rewards, it's been good to get back on the golf course after the Ryder Cup, edge your way back into scoring. I think I am something like 21-under after five rounds, so it is a good way to refocus for the rest of the year. (© Independent News Service)

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