Rose unconcerned by slow start

The world No 6 followed up a disapppointing opening round 73 with an improved three-under-par 69, but nearly missed the cut??after finding himself 11 shots adrift of leader Martin Kaymer at the half-way stage.??

Rose caused himself problems with a bogey-filled back nine during the first day at the Abu Dhabi GC, but second round birdies on the 16th and the 18th were enough for the Englishman to progress.??

“I didn’t play well at all, in fact I played awfully,??? Rose said. ???But you get yourself into situations where sometimes you have to work hard to make a cut.

“I’ve certainly got a lot of work to do. I was happy with my short game coming in, under pressure, grinding to make pars when I needed to, so that’s a good sign.

“I’m not concerned about my long game, it’s the strength of my game normally, so hopefully that should click back into gear. I was proud of the way I battled away today.”

The former US Open champion joins a host of players on two-under for the tournament – one shot clear of the projected cut mark – incuding Ricke Fowler, Ernie Els and last week’s South African Open winner, Andy Sullivan.??

Rose could only watch on as playing partner Kaymer continued to top the leaderboard thanks to an impressive five-under 67, but admits he didn’t head in to the opening Desert Swing event with any expectations.??

“I was looking at both of these weeks as my pre-season,” South Africa-born Rose added. “There’s a good field here, you want to contend, but I was very aware I was going to have to see how my game went.

“Hopefully, it gives me two more days to work on my game and get some momentum going as I start the season.

“I still feel capable of a couple of mid-60s around here if I get going, but whatever happens I’ll take positives out of this week that I’ll be able to build upon.”