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Golf | European Tour

Rose hopes to rise in Abu Dhabi

Justin Rose was in pole position to open his 2013 season with a win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Sunday, which would move him back up to world No 4.

The 32-year-old Englishman leads by two strokes going into the final round of the Gulf's premier tournament, having seen favourites Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both fail to make the cut.

Rose has led from the start, reproducing the superb form that saw him end last year on a high and a career-best world ranking of four.

Louis Oosthuizen's win in South Africa last week, dropped him down one spot, but success in Abu Dhabi would reverse their positions leaving only McIlroy, Woods and Luke Donald ahead of him.

Rose will set off in the company of rising Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, who is two strokes back, the same as Welshman Jamie Donaldson who will be in the penultimate pairing with Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee, who is a further stroke back.

England's David Howell, Richie Ramsay of Scotland and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are four shots off the pace.

Rose said that he had been surprised just how quickly and easily his game had come together after a six-week break over Christmas and New Year, and he had no qualms about leading from the front.

"Playing with the lead is always a little bit different, but I felt pretty comfortable the last few times I've had the opportunity. I've done well." he said.

Olesen said he did not expect Rose to cave in so that would mean he would have to play aggressive golf.

"If I can get some birdies in quickly, I think it can be exciting," he added.


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