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Turkish Airlines Open: Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood prepare for tournament with different goals in mind

Antalya, Turkey: Justin Rose admits this has probably been one of his best years in terms of consistency as he tees off to seek a successful defence of his Turkish Airlines Open title this week.

Rose, currently, the World No 2, will be back at No 1 if he wins at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort. A win would also mean the first successful title defence of his career as he looks for a fifth top ten in his last six European Tour events.

"It would be a great double-whammy," he said. "I said a while back that I wanted to get to World Number One by winning golf tournaments and I got there by finishing second at the BMW (Championship - on the US PGA Tour) a month or so ago.

 Turkish Airlines Open: Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood prepare for tournament with different goals in mind

File image of English golfer Justin Rose. AP

He added, "This would be a great place to knock off two big goals of mine, which is to get back to World Number One and to defend a title would be a special feeling, too. I'm keenly aware of the situation."

While Rose has a few things to play for, Tommy Fleetwood looks at the Turkish Airlines Open in a different manner "There's always things to play for," he said. "Always different goals, always different titles and positions that you are in. There's still plenty to do and it really isn't at the forefront of my mind," said the Race to Dubai defending champion, Fleetwood.

He is keeping his focus on just this week's Turkish Airlines Open as the battle to be crowned Europe's Number One once again.

If either Englishman Rose or Fleetwood win, it would make them just the third player to win multiple Rolex Series events after Alex Noren and Jon Rahm.

Rose defending a title for second week in succession

Rose is defending a title for the second week in succession after coming up just short of retaining the crown at last week's WGC-HSBC Champions. His 2017 wins in China and Turkey are part of a remarkable run of form that has seen him claim four wins and 19 other top tens in his last 30 appearances worldwide. "It's been a great run of golf. In terms of my career, that's as high a level as I have ever played at. There's been a lot of top ten runs into this week, it makes you feel like you're playing well."

"Coming over here, I won in China a week before last year but I was able to roll it into this week and made the putt on the final green to get ahead of the field. Confidence-wise, I'd say it feels fairly similar. Now it's up to me to put four good rounds together.

"It keeps you hungry when weeks aren't going my way sort of Thursday, Friday. I still try to grind it out and work hard on the weekend to get something out of the week."

He went on, "That level of consistency is something I'm very proud of. If someone had told me another player would have 23 top tens out of 30 events, that's unbelievable, but when you're actually doing it, it doesn't feel as special as maybe it is."

He rounded off saying, "I think there's certain gaps to fill. Next year, for me, I'll be looking at the Majors and how I can do a better job contending in those. I finished second in the Open but it was a bit of a late run at it rather than being up there all week. The attention will shift on to those and see if I can bring this consistency to those."

Fleetwood focussed on just the task a hand

Fleetwood is currently just over 1.2million points behind leader Francesco Molinari in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex but a win at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort would cut that gap to less than 50,000 heading into the final two events of the season as Fleetwood looks to defend his title.

Victory would also see Fleetwood join Alex Noren and Jon Rahm as a multiple Rolex Series event winner but the World Number 11 insists he is only thinking about his game and if that is right, the rest will take care of itself.

He added, "The practice is staying the same. There's three tournaments left. I would love to win. If you were going to look at something like outcome-wise, I don't think anybody would hold it against Fran if he was to walk away with the Race to Dubai."

He added, "I do like the course, I like the way a lot of the shots set up. For the most part, the weekends I've had have showed that I can play well around here. Just try and do that more often."

Fleetwood has played in all five editions of the Turkish Airlines Open, with his two top-25s coming in the last two seasons after the event moved to Regnum Carya.

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Updated Date: Oct 31, 2018 23:04:05 IST