ANOTHER top-class display kept Justin Rose among the early pace-setters in the race to become European number one.

The 21-year-old is hoping to make a big impact on the Volvo Order of Merit this season and has already made a grand start following his tournament victory in the Dunhill Championship in Johannesburg.

That victory elevated him to one of the stars of the tour and he followed his maiden win with a strong showing at Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia.

Although never in contention for the title, Rose fought back from a disastrous start to claim a top-20 finish, and move into fifth spot in the Order of Merit.

Rose initially struggled to get to grips with Lake Karrinyup course, slipping to an opening round 78, six-over par.

An early exit looked likely but Rose recovered from a poor opening round last week and repeated the trick with a far better 71 to make the cut this time around.

That left him on five-over par, qualifying for the final two rounds with just two shots to spare. A fantastic 68 moved him up the field and put Rose in contention for a high placing though any hopes of landing the title had long gone as Retief Goosen stormed clear.

The South African broke a 28-year record in moving an incredible 13 shots ahead after three rounds and completed the formality of winning on the final day.

Rose, however, had a shout for second place, but a final round of 74 kept him firmly in the pack, finishing three-over and joint 17th.

Even so it was another good week's work for Rose and the next aim of breaking into the world's top 100 can't be far away.

The Hook-based golfer is already ranked 106 and more performances akin to those he has produced in January will surely lead him into the world's elite.

There are two more tournaments in Australia for Rose to make further progress, starting with the Heineken Classic in Victoria on Thursday.