Rose's absence will boost the chances of Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam - if they don't get too distracted by visiting pop star Geri Halliwell, formerly known as ``Ginger Spice.''
Instead of touring the course, Faldo spent Wednesday morning helping Halliwell with her golf swing.
Faldo and Woosnam, who tee off Thursday, have been dropped from the limelight with the emergence of young talents such as Tiger Woods and Rose. Rose canceled ``for personal reasons,'' said organizer Chung Ying Ying.
The news of Rose's absence came as a surprise and a bit of a relief to Woosnam. ``I think it's difficult for the older players playing with the young lads,'' said Woosnam, 44. He added that he was concerned about the trend toward longer courses that favor golfers who are ``bigger, stronger and fitter.''