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Rose picks up where he left off
Last updated: 17th January 2013
Justin Rose showed Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy how it's done by grabbing a share of the lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
While the world's top two players failed to impress in ther first rounds at Abu Dhabi GC on Thursday, with McIlroy carding a three-over-par 75 and Woods a mixed-bag, level-par 72, Rose, the World No 5, picked up right where he left off last season by posting a superb five-under-par 67 - good enough for a share of the lead alongside Welshman Jamie Donaldson.
Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal follow one shot back on four under, while China's Wen-chong Liang, South Africa's George Coetzee, Sweden's Henrik Stenson, New Zealand's Michael Campebell and England's David Howell are all on three under, two shots back.
Rose was understandably pleased with the way he kicked off this year's campaign.
"It's the perfect start to get up on the leaderboard," said the 32-year-old, who soon erased the memory of a bogey at the par-four first hole with six birdies in an otherwise faultless round.
"I knew it was going to be a tough afternoon (he had watched some of the earlier television coverage of McIlroy and Woods) and I felt very good about that score."
While Woods wasn't exactly pleased with his four-birdie, four-bogey 72, it was still three shots better than McIlroy's 75, which contained two double bogeys at the 15th and third.
"I guess when you're going out with new stuff you're always going to be a little anxious," said McIlroy.
"I feel like I was a little bit rusty not playing any competitive golf for eight weeks.
"I'm disappointed, but not overly concerned. I felt there were a few good signs."
Woods made four birdies , but dropped four shots as well, which included a shocking drive off the tee on the first hole that didn't even reach the fairway. Then on the second, he dragged his approach into the rough and failed to make in up and down.
"My game plan was three-iron or five-wood and then I changed," Woods said afterwards. "I was not committed to the shot - I should have backed off.
"I had a strategy; I didn't keep to it and paid the price."
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