Tips few and far between for Rose
Much to his chagrin, Justin Rose has not been able to get much out of his Florida next-door neighbour and buddy Ian Poulter on how to win the UBS Hong Kong Open on Sunday.
'The funny thing is that just a few days ago Ian was full of tips, but this week he seems to have dried up,' he said with a chuckle, taking a dig at the defending champion, and England teammate at last week's World Cup.
World number 16 Rose was the odd man out at yesterday's pre-tournament press conference: all the other top names have played before at the Hong Kong Golf Club course in Fanling - Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Yang Yong-eun and Hong Kong's US-based Jason Hak Shun-yat.
Making his Hong Kong debut, Rose said it was not expected that even such a close friend as Poulter would 'share his yardage book with me'. 'Out here on tour, any advantage you gain, it's very hard-earned and hard fought for,' Rose said. 'Any nuances on the golf course, they will keep it to themselves. I'm sure he's not going to share his yardage book with me, but speaking with these guys a few weeks ago, they did tell me what a fun tournament it is.
'But I had a good 41/2-hour practice session out on the course today and hit a lot of putts and really tried to get a good feel for it. It was a very good and useful practice round. The course is in great condition and the greens are firm. It will be a challenge.'
Harrington, winner in 2003, had words of encouragement, however. 'No one person will have an advantage on this course. It suits everybody, short or long hitters. It will be a good test and I think everyone will like this course.'