Justin Rose has moved to third place in the Race to Dubai rankings after mounting a stunning comeback to win the HSBC Champions in China by two shots.
Rose began the final round eight shots behind Johnson and was still six adrift at the turn, but fired five birdies in a back nine of 31 to complete a closing 67, with Johnson slumping to a 77.
At 14 under par, Rose finished two shots ahead of Ryder Cup partner Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Johnson, who had started the day with a six-shot lead in pursuit of a record third World Golf Championship victory this year.
The 37-year-old’s tenth European Tour victory of his career sees his points tally for the season swell to just under three million, putting him only 190,827 points short of Sergio Garcia who is in second place.
The result means Rose now has a serious chance to challenge Tommy Fleetwood for the top spot in the rankings when the top 60 players in the Race to Dubai meet at the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates next month.
“It kind of gives me a realistic chance now, if I was to have a special end to the season with Turkey and Dubai,” added Rose, who topped the money list in 2007.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve won, or at least it feels like that. I’ve won every year since 2010, if you include the Olympics last year. I’ve left it late this year but it feels amazing.”
Henrik Stenson – who finished joint runner-up in China – now moves from 18th to 11th spot in the Race to Dubai rankings with a season tally of 1,723,903 points.
Meanwhile defending DP World Tour Championship winner Matthew Fitzpatrick also moved up the rankings with a top ten finish in China.
The Sheffield native secured ninth place to move up one spot to 13th .
Tyrrell Hatton has entered the top five of the Race to Dubai rankings after securing his third European Tour title of his career and second in a row at the Italian Open.
The 26-year-old birdied the final hole to back up last weekend’s successful defence of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title with the third Tour win of his career.
For the second Sunday in succession Ross Fisher piled the pressure on his compatriot Hatton, but had to settle for second, tied with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
“It’s amazing to win one but to win back-to-back and defend in two weeks is unbelievable,” world number 22 Hatton told europeantour.com.
“Although I found it hard to believe, I tried to stay patient. In the end, I guess I got my reward.
“The end goal is to get as high as possible up the world rankings. Obviously the last two weeks have helped a lot.”
The victory saw the Englishman claim 990,398 points, taking him from 11th to fifth place in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings with a season tally of 2,443,181 points.
He’ll now be in contention for the $5million Race to Dubai bonus pool when the top 60 players in the European Tour tee-off at the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 16-19.
Tommy Fleetwood also finished tied for sixth to ensure that he remains at the head of the Rankings with 3,974,247 points.
Sergio Garcia is in second with a season-tally of 2,851,251 points and his young compatriot Jon Rahm sits in third spot on 2,840,693.
Tommy Fleetwood shot a Carnoustie course-record 63 to claim a share of the halfway lead with defending champion Tyrrell Hatton at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Fleetwood, leader in the Race to Dubai standings, shot a blemish-free nine-under-par round at the venue for next year’s Open to join Hatton on 11 under.
Hatton, who was also playing his second round in the three-course event at Carnoustie, did not drop a shot either in a seven-under-par 65.
The pair led by one shot from Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, who shot 67 at St Andrews after recovering from a double bogey on his first hole.
First-round co-leader Paul Dunne was in a tie for fourth at nine under with Germany’s Marcel Siem after carding 68 at Carnoustie.
World number six Rory McIlroy, hoping to end a frustrating year with a win, was overshadowed by Fleetwood, who was one of his playing partners.
McIlroy ended the day 11 shots off the lead on level par after a 71 which included a double bogey seven on the sixth hole. With the cut coming after 54 holes, the Northern Irishman is not yet out of the tournament but he must make up a lot of ground as he plays Kingsbarns on Saturday.
After 36 holes:
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 6, 2017
Fleetwood’s impressive round included a run of five successive birdies on the back nine. He almost extended that sequence to six when a birdie putt from off the green on the 16th narrowly missed the hole. He might even have had an eagle on 15th too when his second shot at the par four bounced onto the green and hit the flag.
He finished his round in style by picking up his ninth birdie at the 18th.
Fleetwood, who became a father for the first time last week, was asked after his round how it felt to break the course record.
The 26-year-old told Sky Sports: “It sounds good doesn’t it? You don’t really think too much about it when you are playing but then I holed that one on the last and they said it was a course record. So, all in all, it was a good day’s work!”
Dunne slipped back after a bogey on his second hole but responded with six birdies before dropping another shot at the 17th.