He couldn’t, could he? A couple of weeks ago, Justin Rose just about needed binoculars to see Tommy Fleetwood at the summit of the Race to Dubai rankings. Now, he’s within touching distance of the top after the kind of rapid ascent that would give most folk the bends.

Rose’s thrilling one-shot victory in the Turkish Airlines Open, where he birdied three of his last four holes to stave off a variety of potential challengers on a jam-packed leaderboard, gave him back-to-back wins on the European Tour and inched him ever closer to Fleetwood on the money list.

The 37-year-old, who was around one million points behind the frontrunner on the rankings, has whittled that gap down to a mere 135,000. Rose is not playing in this week’s Nedbank Challenge – Fleetwood, who finished tied 23rd here, is teeing-up – but he will be back for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai where the rankings race will be decided.

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“I set my stall out and I’ll stick to it,” said Rose when asked if he was tempted to change his plans and add the South African event to his schedule to continue his fearsome assault on Fleetwood’s position.

“I tend not to do four in a row. I know I may be handing Tommy an advantage by not playing in South Africa but being away from the kids for six weeks is not worth the sacrifice. If I was younger, and single, it may have been easier to carry on.”

Remember, remember the fifth of November? Rose certainly will. This was an afternoon of golfing fireworks and his superbly assembled six-under 65 for an 18-under 266 left him a shot clear of the fast-finishing Dylan Frittelli and the equally thrusting Nicolas Colsaerts. Even that wily Irish veteran Padraig Harrington got in on the act during a ding-dong day with a 67 that left him in fourth on a 268.

Rose hadn’t won during the 2017 campaign until his success in China last weekend. “Like buses, you wait for ages and two come along at once,” added the Englishman, who is looking to be crowned European No.1 for the first time since 2007.

“Up until last week, I’d say my season was rated as maybe a B-minus. It was solid enough but I wasn’t winning. Now, I’d say it’s an A-minus.”

There were a series of blows and counter blows during an intriguing, fluctuating final round. Frittelli served notice of his intentions with five birdies in a row from the fourth, a run which included a trio of chip-ins, as the South African raced to the turn in 29 to barge his way into contention.

Harrington, too, was making steady inroads and an unlikely par on the 10th, where he chipped in having gone in the water, kept him in the mix. Rose, meanwhile, birdied the seventh and the ninth to lay the foundations for a telling move on the inward half.

He needed to up the ante because those around him were making strides too. It almost became a matchplay-style of tussle and, after Colsaerts had made a birdie on the 15th, the Belgian added another on 16 before playing partner Rose, crucially, followed him in.

“Coming off the green, he said to me ‘did you enjoy the read?’ because he putted on a similar line to me and I followed him,” said Rose with a smile.

Colsaerts would birdie three on the spin from the 15th but Rose would make the decisive blow on the last when he trundled in a 10-footer for another birdie.

Colsaerts, from a couple of feet closer, missed the chance to tie when his attempt for four birdies in a row failed to drop. That meant Harrington, who had eagled the 15th, needed to hole his second shot from some 200 yards to force a play-off. The miracle didn’t happen and Rose was home and dry.

On the Scots front, Stephen Gallacher rounded off a solid week with a level-par 71 which gave him a share of 16th place and ensured he would move up the money list and earn a spot in this week’s cash-laden Nedbank event.

After a topsy-turvy year, Gallacher, who continues to bed in his new grip, is seeing progress. It’s onwards and upwards.

“It’s the first time I’ve enjoyed four rounds for a while,” he said. “I’ve not really been enjoying it all year, to be honest. But hopefully I can have another half decent week in South Africa and that would then get me into Dubai. There have been a lot of good signs. “

Richie Ramsay also signed off with a 71 and a share of 27th place.