Justin Rose will head into the week’s final Major at the US PGA Championship looking to further extend his lead in The Race to Dubai after targeting The European Tour’s ultimate prize as one of his main goals of 2012.
Rose has led The Race to Dubai since finishing in a tie for second place at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in May and the Englishman would love to be crowned The European Tour’s Number One player for the second time in his career at the season-ending, US $8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
The 32 year old extended his lead over Open Champion Ernie Els with a tied fifth place finish alongside Rory McIlroy at last week’s WGC – Bridgestone Invitational and he is confident the good form he is showing can continue on the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort this week.
“I was very pleased to extend my lead in The Race to Dubai last week – it was a nice bonus after a good week and I am pretty happy with where the game is at the moment,” said Rose, who was Europe’s Number One in 2007.
“Obviously I would love to extend the lead further this week at Kiawah, because if I manage to do that then it will mean I have had another very strong finish here and it would be great to get into real contention in the last Major of the season. That is what everyone is trying to do this week: play themselves into contention on Sunday. If I can do that then you never know what can happen.”
Rose has been thinking of winning The Race to Dubai since his thrilling victory at the WGC – Cadillac Championship in Miami back in March, and will turn his full attention to the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai after the forthcoming Ryder Cup.
He leads Els by €342,186 after smashing through the €2,000,000 barrier last week at the Firestone Country Club in Akron. Louis Oosthuizen, who took fourth place at last week’s World Golf Championships event, is in third position, with Francesco Molinari in fourth spot and McIlroy lying fifth.
“Winning The Race to Dubai has been a real priority of mine since I won the WGC – Cadillac Championship at Doral,” said Rose, who would also collect the lion’s share of the US$3.75 million Bonus Pool to be shared among the top ten players at the end of the season should he continue his sensational year and claim The Race to Dubai title.
“That was such a big win for me for so many reasons, and it really made the chance of winning a second Harry Vardon Trophy a reality. There aren’t too many players who have won the Vardon Trophy twice in their careers and it would be a real honour for me to do that.
“There is a lot of golf to play but I am very focussed on trying to win it. There are a lot of big tournaments on The European Tour after The Ryder Cup and I will be playing quite a few to try and maintain my lead going into the DP World Tour Championship at the end of the year in Dubai.
“I had to miss out on the tournament last year because Katie was about to give birth to our daughter, Charlotte, so there is a little extra incentive to get back to Dubai and it would be very special to get back there and win The Race overall.”