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Justin Rose on the 18th at Dubai's Earth Course during the 2012 DP World Tour Championship.
Justin Rose on the 18th at Dubai's Earth Course during the 2012 DP World Tour Championship.

Justin Rose to compete at 2013 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

The new world No 4 will renew his rivalry with Rory McIlroy following their thrilling final day battle at the DP World Tour Championship.

ABU DHABI // Justin Rose, the new world number four, has become the latest top golfer to add his name to the 2013 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

The Englishman makes his capital debut in the January 17-20 event, beginning his season at the National Course rather than on the US PGA Tour, and joins Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the world number one and number three respectively, for the tournament's eighth staging.

Rose, who on Sunday finished second at the DP World Tour Championship and runner-up to McIlroy in the Race to Dubai, has included Abu Dhabi on his schedule to gain an early start in fulfilling the European Tour's 13-event criteria to qualify for next year's season-ending event at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

"The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is right at the forefront of being one of the best events on the tour," Rose, 32, said. "And the field is very important. World rankings are a focus of mine - you want to put yourself in the strongest fields where you can pay for the most points.

"But I'm also at a stage in my career when I believe a lot in my ability and I want to go up against the best players in the world. With guys like Rory and Tiger committed to playing the event, those are exactly the type of tournaments you like to win and the guys you want to go head-to-head against.

"Any time you get a win early in a season it boosts that confidence. And if you beat a quality field on a good golf course that really gives you belief in your game, so that would be the goal."

Rose has high hopes for the event as he considers his game similar to that of Martin Kaymer, a three-time champion in Abu Dhabi. He also knows well Robert Rock, the defending champion who triumphed earlier this year ahead of McIlroy and Woods.

"This year was a great tournament. Robert's a very good friend of mine, and taking down the Tiger was great for him to live off that for a few weeks," Rose said. "I know a lot of people were really, really pleased for him so I've always been aware of the tournament.

"I feel like there's a lot of aspects that I could do well on. I get really good feelings about the place."

 

jmcauley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE and John McAuley @weejinmac

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