Rose started slowly but finished with a flurry. He had three of his four birdies on the back nine including on his 18th when his approach shot came within a few feet of the pin. Second at the Dubai World Championship last month, Rose said he was confident.
‘‘There’s a difference in how I feel about my game and how I trust my game, absolutely. I believe that any tournament I tee up in, I can win,’’ Rose said.
Robert Rock, the defending champion from England, withdrew before the round because of illness.