Four years is a long time in professional golf, and nobody knows that more than Justin Rose.
In 2011, Rose pitched up at Fanling for the first time and promptly missed the cut by a stroke. Okay, he wasn't the player then that he is today - his US Open victory was still 18 months away - but he was nevertheless considered one of the most consistent players in the world. Here was a man who had conquered his early demons (Rose missed 20-plus consecutive cuts in a row upon joining the pro ranks after wowing the golfing world as an amateur at The Open in 1998) and one who was winning with regularity on both sides of the Atlantic. His early departure from the Hong Kong Golf Club that year was a definite surprise.
The UBS Hong Kong Open in 2015 was, of course, a very different scenario - one that saw a very a different Rose come to town. Locked together at the top of the leader board after three rounds with the unheralded Lucas Bjerregaard, the Englishman closed with a 68 over the Composite Course to become the 11th major champion to triumph at Fanling. It was far from plain sailing - his Danish opponent refused to budge until the very end - but Rose was able to get the job done and etch his name alongside those of legends Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Tom Watson and Rory McIlroy - much to the delight of the fifteen thousand spectators who had come through the gates on Sunday. With the greatest respect to the mightily impressive Bjerregaard, a Rose victory was just the tonic this rejuvenated championship needed.
Click here to see the published article.