Justin Rose has announced he will defend his title at the Turkish Airlines Open, the sixth Rolex Series event of the European Tour’s 2018 Race to Dubai, in Antalya in November.
Englishman Rose, currently second in the Official World Golf Rankings, made three birdies in his last four holes to secure a thrilling victory at last year’s tournament at Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort, with the trophy being delivered in spectacular style by a Turkish Airlines drone.
Rose was awarded Turkey’s Distinguished Service Award for his charity work by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during the prize presentation.
The memorable win came in a sparkling run of three victories in six tournaments in the closing weeks of 2017 for Rose. The Olympic gold medallist and former U.S. Open champion has been in fine form once again this year, adding the Fort Worth Invitational title in May. Last year’s title was a second triumph on Turkish soil for Rose, who beat a stellar field that included Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to win the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in 2012.
The Turkish Airlines Open was played on the European Tour for the first time the following year and Rose is excited at the prospect of returning for the sixth staging of the event. The 37 year old said: “I’m really pleased to be going back to defend at the Turkish Airlines Open. Last year was a win that I won’t forget. To shoot 64 and 65 over the weekend with a birdie at the last to get it done was a special feeling. I’ve always had a great time in Turkey, the hospitality and the facilities are second to none, and I can’t wait to get back there. It’s one of the events that all of the guys look forward to and it’s been amazing to see how much golf has grown in Turkey since I was there in 2012.”
This year’s Turkish Airlines Open is being held on November 1-4 and is once again part of the Rolex Series, the premium category of tournaments on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, each with a minimum prize fund of $7million. Turkish Airlines also supports a Challenge Tour event and an unrivalled amateur series, the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup.
Turkish Airlines Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmuştur said: “We are delighted to have Justin back at the Turkish Airlines Open this year. Turkish Airlines is extremely proud at the way that this event has established itself as one of the most important on the European Tour calendar. Last year gave us one of the most iconic moments yet and we are sure that Justin will contribute to put on another show that will excite golf fans all around the world.”
Ahmet Ağaoğlu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, said: “The Turkish Airlines Open really has gone from strength to strength and Justin coming back shows our determination to put on another incredible event. Justin is a true champion and I know the golf fans here in Turkey will be so excited to see him in Antalya to defend the trophy. The Turkish Airlines Open continues to help us grow our sport in Turkey.”