WGC-HSBC Champions: Justin Rose chasing back-to-back Shanghai wins

Justin Rose is relishing the chance to return to a familiar hunting ground when he bids to defend his WGC-HSBC Champions title this week.

The world No 3 overturned an eight-shot deficit on the final day in Shanghai last year to claim a two-shot win, sparking an end-of-season run which saw him narrowly miss out on Race to Dubai victory.

Rose has continued that form in 2018, registering top-10s in 12 of his 19 worldwide starts and briefly getting to world No 1, as well as featuring in Europe’s winning Ryder Cup side at Le Golf National.

“This tournament absolutely did kick-start some great golf for me that’s lasted the best part of the year,” Rose said on Wednesday. “It’s been a special year.

“It’s always a funny time of year, really, because the new season has started but you’re also coming to what feels like the end of the year.

“There’s a lot going on this time of year and obviously for me, this time last year, I started to play really well and won a few tournaments right at the back end of the year, which made a huge difference.

“I’m a little bit behind in the Race to Dubai and need a bit of a special run now, but I guess I’m coming in here with confidence.”

Rose sits third in the Race to Dubai standings and trails Francesco Molinari by over 1.3m points with four tournaments left in the campaign.

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October 25, 2018, 6:00am

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Molinari is a three-time winner this season and also won all five of his matches in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Le Golf National, with the Italian looking to build on his impressive year at an event he won in 2010.

“It’s one event I always look forward to,” Molinari sad. “It’s been quite a journey since 2010, but especially this year, it’s been incredible.

“I’ve got a couple more events to go, this one and Dubai, and it would be nice to finish off the season in style. Potentially it will be massive (in the Race to Dubai standings).

“I know that there’s a lot of guys still in with a chance and there’s a lot of money to play for the next few weeks. I know it definitely won’t be easy for the Europeans, it’s the main goal remaining in the season, and everyone will do their best to try and catch me.”

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October 25, 2018, 3:00am

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Watch the WGC-HSBC Champions throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 3am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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