Golf: Rose droops a little

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The Independent Online
So Justin Rose will not become the Amateur champion at the age of 16 but, after all, Tiger Woods did not win his first senior national title until he was 18. His performance this week in the Garden of England, though, has only enhanced his reputation and Rose can expect to hear that comparison over and over again.

"Justin will be the Tiger Woods of the European tour," said Sam Little, after he had beaten Rose 7 and 5 in their last-16 match. "He did not putt well this afternoon, but you can see he has all the shots you need."

Rose, in his first full year on the amateur circuit after leaving school with eight GCSEs, has already won one significant title and yesterday morning beat the talented Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara, 6 and 5. Though the wind bore no comparison with the gale of earlier in the week, it was stout enough to make this course a stern test and Rose was four under for his 13 holes.

However Little, 21, whose brother Jamie lost in the first round, had to a good start to go three up after five. At the next, Rose put his tee shot to four feet, but Little holed from 15 feet to prevent a switch in momentum in the match. When Rose three-putted the 10th and 11th, Little was firmly in command.

In this morning's quarter-finals, the Moor Park player faces another youngster, Trevor Immelman, 17, who has won each of his last six tournaments in South Africa, including their national title. Immelman came over early to watch his countryman Ernie Els at the PGA at Wentworth, as they share the same coach.

Bath's Colin Edwards prevented the top half of the draw becoming an all- tartan affair by beating the local club pro's son, Michael Brooks, by one hole. Edwards, 33, now plays Barclay Howard, the only man with Walker Cup experience remaining. The 44-year-old Scot was taken to the 19th by the France's Jacques Thalamy in the morning and then put out the Brabazon Trophy winner, David Park, 3 and 2, in the afternoon.

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