Winning Order of Merit would mean more to Justin Rose now than it did in 2007
Justin Rose can unseat Rory McIlroy at the top of the Race to Dubai money list with a top-two result in the BMW Masters which begins today in China.
McIlroy, the defending BMW Masters champion, would also need to finish outside the top seven on the Lake Malaren Golf Club course in Shanghai.
With six official events remaining this season, Rose arrived in China’s financial capital trailing McIlroy by €437,334.
Having won the European Tour money title in 2007, Rose says it would mean a lot more to earn it this time.
“When I won the Order of Merit in 2007 it kind of felt like it happened out of the blue that season,” Rose said. “But I now feel like, if it happened again this season, it would come from a different place.
“It would come from what has been a bit of a miraculous year, and a year when I seemed to play well in the right tournaments. It would be a lot more meaningful based on there’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone on between 2007 and now. I am a lot more aware of why I’m playing well, and a lot more sustainable into the future. And to be No. 1 of any tour, especially the European Tour, that’s a huge goal and that would be a huge honour to be honest. So it’s got my attention for these next few events.”
Rose comes into the BMW Masters on a high after a superb season on the USPGA Tour, as well as being part the Ryder Cup-winning team and coming out on top at the eight-man World Golf Final exhibition in Turkey last week.
“I’m hoping not to come down from that [Ryder Cup] high just yet, I’m still feeling positive about everything,” Rose added. “For some guys you can come back to real life and real tournaments and when you’re not in contention, the thrill of that week seems a million miles away from what you might be experiencing on the golf course if you are running 30th, 40th in the field.
“So, while it is very important not to be in the past when you’re playing each individual tournament, you have got to cherish those memories, because what happened for me personally at the Ryder Cup on that Sunday are stories for the grandkids.”
McIlroy and Rose, who will play the opening round together in Shanghai, will also compete in next week’s HSBC Champions in Shenzhen.
However, McIlroy will have the opportunity to go further ahead of Rose as the Englishman has elected not to contest the following Singapore Open and Hong Kong Open, whereas McIlroy has.
“Rory is playing a lot of European Tour golf through to the run-up to Dubai, so I am going to have to play well and figure I’m going to have to win one of these next two weeks to give myself a really good chance in Dubai,” Rose said.
The tour’s season-ending Dubai event starts on Thursday 22 November.
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