Justin Rose targets title defence after near-miss at WGC-HSBC

Justin Rose has set his sights on returning to the winner’s circle in the coming weeks after failing to retain his WGC-HSBC Champions title.

The Englishman, who could have returned to world No 1 with victory in Shanghai, carded a final-round 72 to end the week in third spot and four strokes behind play-off winner Xander Schauffele.

Rose has never made a successful title defence during his career but is looking forward to further opportunities to achieve that landmark, starting with the Turkish Airlines Open.

“I have events I’ve got to defend, two left in Turkey and Indonesia,” he said. “I’ve never defended a tournament before so that’s the goal for this run, to defend one of them.”

He added: “Tough day for everybody. You just look at the scoreboard, seems like everyone fell apart. There was no chasing pack today, it was a three-horse race all day. It was hard to keep the mistakes off the card completely today.

“It was a fun battle. I was always just one or two shots behind, it felt on the back nine, but I birdied 13 and 14 to give myself a chance and still had a chance I felt when I hit my iron shot into 17.

“I hit a good iron shot into there and Xander made his putt – I missed my putt. I was two behind playing the last trying to force something there. I was in the hunt and a decent defence.”

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Schauffele birdied his final two holes to post a four-under 68 and join Tony Finau on 14 under, before defeating him with a birdie at the first extra play-off hole and claim a third PGA Tour title.

“It’s a lot to take in honestly,” Schauffele said. “I didn’t have an incredible Asian Swing up until this point, so I think that flight home will be a little bit more special.

“I felt really good about every part of my game mentally, physically. So with a 68, obviously, it was just enough. Tony (Finau) played well, as well, but it’s tricky to try and fend off when everyone is chasing you.”

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