Hong Kong - Golf's world number six Justin Rose said ice
baths and a team of fitness experts helped him keep up his energy last season,
as he eyes a fast start to the new European Tour in Hong Kong.
Rose takes his place among Europe's top golfers at the Hong
Kong Open Thursday just days after the 2017 circuit finished.
His unflagging energy saw him win tournaments in China and
Turkey in the space of a month before narrowly missing out at the seasonal
finale in Dubai last weekend.
"Today is my off-season!" joked a bleary-eyed
Justin Rose on Tuesday, hours after flying in from the Middle East.
"I take the day off today and then we get going again
"I'll definitely do [ice baths], a lot of contrast -
hot-cold stuff. I'll do that pre-round, post-round sometimes.
"I track my heart rate variability every day to get a
bit of a snapshot of how my body is coping with time changes, and jet lag. If I
need to focus on recovery I will. If I need to focus on fitness I will."
It is a punishing schedule for today's golfers, who jet back
and forth across time zones for tournaments while keeping their bodies in a
peak athletic condition that has become essential in the modern game.
And as events such as the Asian Tour's historic Hong Kong
Open are added to the European Tour's winter schedule as jointly sanctioned
competitions, the season's start has shifted earlier and earlier.
The Englishman's next stop is the Hero World Challenge in
the Bahamas next Thursday, a tournament run by the Tiger Woods Foundation which
is expected to see the hotly-anticipated return of its namesake golfing
"The sooner you can win in a tour season the
better," Rose said.
"The way I look at it, it counts for the 2018 season
but also calendar-year wise it affords you the opportunity to go into Christmas
and the New Year with some momentum."
Other European stars have taken a marginally more restful
Both Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, previous Tour winners,
sat out the Dubai finale last weekend after opting not to rush back from
injuries in favour of a brief winter break.
Sergio Garcia, who has also travelled from Dubai to Hong
Kong this week, admitted he was reluctant to see the 2017 season end.
The year has seen him bag his first Major victory - in a
record 74th attempt - at the Masters, while also finding time to get married to
golf reporter Angela Akins, with a child on the way.
But the Spaniard is also looking resolutely forward.
"You start a new year and you kind of reset,"
"You want to make sure you keep moving forward and keep
putting yourself in position to win more tournaments and more Majors, and
probably make more babies and all those things!"
And there is another reason for Garcia to approach the new
tour season with particular zeal.
"It's a Ryder Cup year so it's always a special year.
We're excited to give it a shot and try to get the cup back."
European players qualify for Ryder Cup positions primarily
by playing at events sanctioned by the continent's own tour, including the Hong
The Hong Kong Golf Club, home to the competition for more
than 50 years, ranks as a host venue second in longevity only to the Augusta Masters
among professional golf tournaments.
But while the subtropical environs of the Asian city may
seem a long way from Europe, Garcia sees some advantageous similarities.
"To me, [the course] kind of has a feeling of a
Valderrama, not as extreme as Valderrama but it's very much a 'position' kind
of golf course," said Garcia, referring to the famous Spanish course where
won the Valderrama Masters last month.
"You have to be precise and I love that kind of golf