Justin Rose believes the US$ 7million BMW Masters could play a decisive role in The European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
Rose is hoping to use the inaugural Asian event to overtake US PGA Champion and World Number One Rory McIlroy in The Race to Dubai when the Ryder Cup team-mates go head-to-head at Lake Malaren Golf Club from October 25-28.
The Englishman, who will defend his BMW Championship title in the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Play-Offs series this week, is the latest star player to confirm his participation in the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
With such a substantial prize fund on offer to the elite 78-man field in China, Rose is acutely aware of the importance of beating McIlroy at Lake Malaren, as he looks to overhaul the 23 year old at the summit of The Race to Dubai as the season enters its crucial final month.
A superb 2012 season for Rose, which includes a World Golf Championships victory, an eighth place finish at the Masters and a tie for third at the US PGA, propelled Rose to the head of The Race to Dubai between May and August before McIlroy’s record-breaking second Major win at Kiawah Island took the Northern Irishman back to top spot.
McIlroy now leads Rose by €437,334 but the Englishman is determined to be crowned European Tour Number One for the second time in his career.
“I’m excited about going to Lake Malaren for the BMW Masters,” said Rose, currently ranked eighth in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“I’m going to have to be at my best to win against such a high quality field and it would be a big week to try and outplay Rory and try to close the gap in The Race to Dubai.
“The BMW Masters could be one of the most important weeks of the year in terms of who finishes The European Tour season as Number One, so I am very determined to play well in Shanghai because I would love to be Europe’s best player again. There aren’t too many players who have won the Harry Vardon Trophy twice in their careers and it would be a real honour for me to do that.
“I am going to have to play very well to try to catch Rory, but there are some really big tournaments at the end of the season so I hope I can take advantage, starting in China.
“I have heard great things about Lake Malaren and I know from experience that BMW put on some of the best events in the world so it is going to be a great week in Shanghai.”
Lake Malaren Golf Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus and received rave reviews when it was used for tournament play for the first time last year, when McIlroy overcame American Anthony Kim in a sudden-death play-off to secure the Lake Malaren Masters.
Thanks to the vision and commitment of BMW, the China Golf Association (CGA) and Lake Malaren Golf Club, the BMW Masters is now a fully sanctioned European Tour event, making the German car manufacturer the most prolific supporter of The 2012 European Tour with four title-sponsorship agreements in place.