Honma Hong Kong Open

Big names Rose and Reed fail to fire at Hong Kong Open but hope to be back next year

It was a frustrating week for many of the marquee players at Fanling

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 1:26pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 10:02pm

The big names failed to fire at Fanling. Patrick Reed had a one-word summary of his week in Hong Kong that could have sufficed for the rest: “rough”.

Defending champion Justin Rose, hampered with a back injury, at least made the cut, but a title defence was never on the cards. He finished on one-under (70-69-70-69).

Reed shot 11-under for third place on his first visit to Hong Kong last year, but never got going this year, posting his first below-par round at the final attempt to also finish one-under (70-70-70-69).

Four-time champion Miguel Angel Jimenez was +3, getting steadily worse on a course he loves (69-68-72-73). The normally amiable Spaniard walked off without speaking to the media.

Ian Poulter, another ex-champion, had a disastrous week, rowing with a cameraman and people on Twitter, and finishing almost bottom of those who made the cut with +5 (68-72-71-74). The normally non-amiable Englishman walked off with two words for the media: a “disappointing” week, and “yes” a frustrating year.

The sponsors may not have been pleased as their marquee names struggled, though the packed galleries seemed content enough.

And those players who did speak to the press were at least saying the right things about next year.

“I had a great time really, it’s been a good week,” said Rose, who was immediately heading down the road to Sha Tin with his mother and caddie (not the same person) to catch the International Races.

“For me personally it’s been a success in that my back held up at least. There’s elements of my game I’m really encouraged about and other parts that need a bit of work.”

Rose was four-under heading to the 15th but a bogey there was followed by a double on 18.

“Four under with four to play, to get a couple more birdies would have been a nice way to finish,” he added. “Eighteen is such a tough hole and that’s such a dirty pin position today. One of the photographers kicked my ball on the way past too, so there was a bit of drama on 18.”

As for next year? “Off the course I love the place, on the course I love to play here, so all-in-all it’s one of my favourite tournaments.”

Reed too hopes to be back in 2017.

“It was a disappointing week but I had a great time here in Hong Kong,” said the star of the Americans’ Ryder Cup win this year. “I always do, the past two years coming has been an awesome experience, the game just wasn’t there this week.

“First two rounds I hit the ball really poorly, these last two days I hit the ball really well and made absolutely nothing.

“It was frustrating. I don’t know the last time I made 12 bogies and two doubles in a tournament.

“I love this place it’s been a lot of fun [off the course] … you don’t see many cities like this on Tour.

“I hope I’m back next year – and I hope I have a better score.”

Again, It was a fitting summary for many of the big names.