Justin Rose will look to go one better in Qatar after runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi
By Mark Kendall - Twitter: @SkySportsMK. Last Updated: January 22, 2013 6:02pm
Justin Rose insists he will tee it up in this week's Qatar Masters in confident rather than frustrated mood after his runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi.
The Englishman looked on course for a wire-to-wire victory last week only to be pipped to the title in Abu Dhabi by Jamie Donaldson who recorded a one-shot triumph.
"It was disappointing not to win, obviously, having led for three rounds and having a two shot lead on the Sunday," Rose said ahead of Wednesday's start in Doha. "But I look back on Sunday and feel like I made a lot of right decisions and did a lot of things very well.
"I don't live and die by the results, so it doesn't make any difference really. I'm not dwelling on last week whatsoever. I think I gained something last week, I certainly didn't lose anything. I'm very happy with where my game is and I want to continue in the same vein here in Qatar."
World No.4 Rose, who has missed the cut in his previous four appearances in Qatar, will be the highest-ranked player in the field, although No.5 Louis Oosthuizen will also be present and both men admit that toppling Rory McIlroy as the world's best is now a realistic aim for them.
"The thought of being world number one is on my radar for the first time ever, it's there in the distance," Rose stated. "It's a lot of hard work, though. Obviously we expect Rory to keep moving forward in the game so it's only going to happen with a remarkable run over a couple of years."
Oosthuizen added: "I want to climb up the world ranking to number one if I can, but I always take it slowly and see how my game is.
"I never try to set goals that I know are too tough to achieve or out of my reach. I feel like I've got a good shot at getting to number two at least by the end of the year. I'll need to work hard on my game to get there and stay there, and then reduce the gap with me and Rory.
"Any win early in the season gets your confidence really high. I feel like I'm swinging it really well at the moment and making the odd long putt. This week the greens are really big and I think we'll have a lot of birdie opportunities, so the longer putts will be crucial."
Oosthuizen is one of eight major champions in the field for the $2.5 million event at Doha Golf Club with another being the defending champion, Paul Lawrie.
The Scot acknowledges that his impressive victory 12 months ago was the springboard for a memorable season which culminated in him playing a part in Europe's unforgettable Ryder Cup success at Medinah.
"I'm not dwelling on last week whatsoever. I think I gained something last week, I certainly didn't lose anything. I'm very happy with where my game is and I want to continue in the same vein here in Qatar."
The 44-year-old is looking forward to the challenge of defending his crown, declaring: "It's a great field this week. Everywhere you look, there are top players at this tournament. The golf course is high quality.
"It's always nice to come back to a venue that you've done well at before and I've managed to have couple of good weeks here over the years. I enjoy the course; it's windy and very tricky you've got to control the flight of your ball, which I enjoy. A bit of a challenge, and I'm looking forward to it."
Amongst a host of other top names competing are Martin Kaymer, Jason Dufner, Peter Hanson and Ernie Els, although Els' fancies another of Europe's Ryder Cup heroes to have a big week.
While sweet on the chances of compatriot Oosthuizen, Els believes a revitalised Sergio Garcia is also likely to prove a big danger.
"I think Louis is probably the favourite this week, and Sergio," said the Open champion. "Sergio, last time he played, he won in Johor (Malaysia).
"This is one of the tougher courses on the Middle Eastern swing. This golf course always plays quite difficult - the wind blows a bit more here normally, so scoring can be difficult."
Els has been grouped together with Garcia and Lawrie for the first two rounds of the tournament, while Oosthuizen finds himself in the company of Kaymer and Rose.