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Shanghai: Ryder Cup hero Justin Rose vowed yesterday that he will make it a fight to the finish as he attempts to chase down world number one Rory McIlroy and finish top of the European Tour money list.
Rose, the world number five who won the European Order of Merit in 2007 before it became the Race to Dubai, lies second in the standings going into this week’s $7m BMW Masters at Lake Malaren, Shanghai.
He will tee off with Race to Dubai leader McIlroy, who won his second major at the US PGA Championship in August, and world number four Lee Westwood in a mouth-watering final group at 11:20am (0420 GMT) today.
Rose is 437,000 euros ($568,000) behind his 23-year-old Northern Irish Ryder Cup team-mate but with a $1.166m cheque awaiting the winner in China this week, it is a gap that can be closed before the season-ending Dubai World Championship in a month’s time.
“There are some big events coming up and an exciting finish to the Race to Dubai,” the 32-year-old Rose said.
“I think Rory is playing more tournaments than me in the lead-up, so I am going to have to play well, absolutely. I figure I am going to have win one of these next two weeks to give myself a really good chance in Dubai.”
Rose admitted that sometimes it is easy to switch off as the season winds down, but with so much at stake this year he is fired up for the final battles ahead.
“A lot of times you can get to this point in the season and be really burnt out. But I feel very motivated to play these tournaments coming up. There’s still a lot more to achieve so that’s the key for me.”
Rose would dearly love to win another money list title, having won the final event of the 2007 season, the Volvo Masters in Valderrama, to overtake Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington that season.
McIlroy is attempting to emulate Luke Donald’s feat of 2011 by winning both US and European money lists. REUTERS