Shanghai - Three weeks ago Justin Rose
declared last month's Hong Kong Open would be his last event on the European
Tour in 2015. Then he won it, and everything changed.
The Englishman now finds himself looking
for back-to-back wins on Chinese soil with one goal in mind, winning the Race
"Sometimes you make decisions based on
what you know at the time, right?" Rose told AFP Tuesday at Lake Malaren,
Shanghai, venue for the $7 million BMW Masters which starts on Thursday.
"Obviously things changed for me.
"Winning in Hong Kong got me closer up
the board and made it a realistic prospect to win the Race to Dubai."
There are two events remaining, this week's
BMW Masters in Shanghai and next week's season-ending DP Tour Championship in
World number six Rose is fifth in the
European Tour Race to Dubai standings on 2 528 224 points - 865 699 behind
leader Rory McIlroy.
But with 1 333 330 points up for grabs for
the winner both this week and next, Rose knows the Race to Dubai is still in
his own hands.
"I'm going to have to win one of these
last two tournaments, that's all I know," Rose said. "I think if I
win one of them and play solid in the other then I'm hard to beat.
"If I go win-win then I'm unbeatable
so it's in my hands, which is the good thing."
Rose won the old European Tour Order of
Merit and the Harry Vardon Trophy back in 2007, two years before it was
reincarnated as the Race to Dubai.
It's clear that he has a burning desire to
add the newer version to his bulging CV that includes the 2013 US Open and a
combined 34-under-par score in this year's majors, the lowest ever recorded by
a player who didn't win.
"Any time you have an opportunity to
achieve something like winning the Race to Dubai or the Order of Merit, as it
was when I last won it, you have to take it. I would love to win it in the
'modern era' as I call it," said Rose.
But the 35-year-old will not have it all
his own way against a high-class field containing the top five challengers to
McIlroy, who is not playing this week.
Englishman Danny Willett, in second place,
needs a top-25 finish to overhaul McIlroy after closing the gap to just 74,213
points with third place across the city at the WGC-HSBC Champions last week.
Then come Ireland's Shane Lowry (727 579
points behind McIlroy), South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen (791 816 behind), Rose
and another South African Branden Grace (926 625 behind).
All can hit the number one spot before the
season's climax next week with a win on Sunday.
"I need to play well enough this week
that if I win next week I don't have to worry about who finishes second,"
"That probably means finishing second
at worst this week to control my own destiny."