Defending champion Justin Rose will take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the Turkish Airlines Open after firing a second consecutive 65 at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort.
The Englishman would go back to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking with a win on Sunday and he would also become the first player to mount a successful defence of a Rolex Series title.
A win would also be a first successful defence of any title for Rose but the man with five top tens in his last six European Tour events had an elite chasing pack behind him.
England’s Tom Lewis fired the lowest round of the week so far with a 63 to get to ten under alongside countryman and Major Champion Danny Willett, and Danish Ryder Cup star Thorbjørn Olesen.
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui stayed bogey-free through 36 holes to sit at nine under alongside England’s Sam Horsfield, Frenchman Alexander Levy and China’s Li Haotong.
Just a week after overturning an eight-shot deficit to win the WGC-HSBC Champions, Rose entered the weekend in Antalya 12 months ago nine shots off the lead but he is in a commanding position this time around as he looks for European Tour title number 11.
‘I played catch-up here last year and other guys are capable of doing that this year,’ he said. ‘I think as I’ve shot two 65s, you can always have somebody from the chasing pack do the same thing.
‘For me it’s about keeping moving forward this week. Even par is not really going to get it done, so you have to have the mentality of keep moving forward.’
Credit: European Tour
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