Olympic champion Justin Rose WILL defend Hong Kong Golf Open title, despite taking lengthy injury break
European Tour moves to allay fans’ fears that star name would miss out
Justin Rose will be back to defend his Hong Kong Open title, despite appearing to rule himself out for the rest of the season with a back injury.
In a post on his social media, Olympic gold medallist Rose said he was taking an extended break to recover from a herniated disc.
With the Hong Kong Open taking place from December 8-11, it appeared the former US Open champion would miss out, but organisers moved swiftly to allay fans’ fears.
“We can confirm that UBS Hong Kong Open defending champion Justin Rose is taking an eight-week break from golf,” said a European Tour spokeswoman.
“We are in regular contact with Justin and his team, and there is no change to his recent confirmation to participate.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming Justin back to Hong Kong in early December.”
It is understood that Rose has also confirmed to local golf chiefs that he will be back.
The Hong Kong Open was awarded a maximum of HK$15 million from the government’s Mega Events Fund in August.
Rose posted a statement on his social media announcing his decision to miss the next two months.
“Following an intense summer schedule and discussion with my team, I have decided to take the next eight weeks off for rest and recovery,” said the 36-year-old.
“As many of you know, during the Players Championship I experienced discomfort in my back from a disc herniation and was sidelined for the following month.
“I worked hard to be able to return for the US Open, but my ongoing tournament schedule, combined with heavy preparation for the Olympics, did not allow for full and proper recovery.
“At this point in my career, it is important to invest in my body and this time off is crucial for me to return to peak performance.
“The remainder of the year has such a great run of tournaments and I am very disappointed to have to miss out on some of them. The importance of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and my relationship with the British Masters makes these tournaments particularly tough to miss.”