Stephen Gallacher tips Justin Rose to regain World No.1 spot

Stephen Gallacher
Stephen Gallacher
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Stephen Gallacher reckons his 2014 Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose won’t have to wait long to be back on top of the golfing world again.

The Englishman’s reign as the game’s top-ranked player proved short-lived earlier this year, losing the mantle to Dustin Johnson before Brooks Koepka claimed it a fortnight ago.

Rose needs to make a successful title defence in the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek this weekend to reain top spot and sits two shots clear at the halfway stage at Regnum Carya with 2016 winner Thorbjorn Olesen.

“It will not be long until he’s back to No.1,” said Gallacher of the Englishman. “I would say Rosie is probably the most complete player out here these days as he’s long enough and he’s straighter than most of the guys and he putts well.

“He said that an improvement in his putting from six feet is the reason he got to No.1, but I don’t think it is that, though it has helped.

“You need a good all-round game to be No.1 in the world or win the Race to Dubai. He’s turning up knowing he is the guy to beat.”

After opening with successive 65s for a 12-under total, 2014 Scottish Open champion Rose is now a combined 50 under for his ten rounds in this event.

The Englishman leads from two of his compatriots, Danny Willett and Tom Lewis, as well as Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, the 2016 winner at this venue.

“I can’t afford to stand still,” insisted Rose, who dropped his only shot in two days after pulling his tee shot at the tenth into the water.

“We’ve got to keep moving forward.

“I played catch up to win last year and there are plenty of guys who are capable of doing the same thing.”

Scottish No.1 Russell Knox is six off the lead after a second-round 66 while Gallacher heads into the weekend trailing Rose by 11 after a par-71.

“I didn’t play too well, to be honest,” admitted the Lothians star, who sits joint-45th. “I could have squeezed a couple more shots out if, but it was a bit of a scramble all day.”