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England favourites for World Cup

Firm friends Justin Rose and Ian Poulter are confident they will not be exchanging any apologies for bad shots when they represent England at this week's World Cup of Golf.

World number eight Rose is the highest-ranked player in the field and Poulter won last week in Japan so the pair are favorites to win the $5 million tournament, which has drawn representatives of 28 countries to Mission Hills.

Rose, who clinched the 2007 European Order of Merit title in sensational style with a playoff victory in Valderrama, Spain two weeks ago, told reporters on Wednesday that he thought there would be no need to say sorry if things went wrong.

"There won't be any 'sorrys', we talked last night about 'sorrys' and it really doesn't work," said the 27-year-old, who said he was excited to be playing in China for the first time.

"The key is creating the right atmosphere and the right camaraderie between the two of you where you don't feel like you've got to say sorry, where you're rooting for each other," he added.

Poulter agreed.

"I've never had to say sorry to anybody thankfully. Hopefully your good shots outweigh the bad shots over four days and you can keep saying 'Good shot, well done," as opposed to sorry," he said.

Rose said he thought the Danish duo of Soren and Anders Hansen would be among the teams to beat as well as South Africans Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman, both formers winners of the World Cup with different partners.

"Anyone can get out there and throw up a surprise," he said. "I think China has a good team and the local support could very important."

Poulter said he and Rose would be going all out to bring the World Cup back to England for the third time.

"We're going to give it 110 percent this week," said Poulter. "It's a week in which we both feel we can perform well in, and we're going to be doing it to the best of our ability."

"It's nice to know you've got a partner and he's playing that well you know you're going to be in position all day."


November 22, 2007

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