Ian Poulter has advised his UBS Hong Kong Open rival Rory McIlroy to get plenty of rest when he spends more time playing in the United States next year.
World No.13 Poulter likes to split his playing schedule between the European and PGA Tours but warns fatigue is the main concern.
“You don’t realise how much it takes out of you sitting on a plane for nine or 10 hours going across the pond all the time,” said the English ace, who had five top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this year.
“If you can work it out so you do spells of a few weeks and then take a couple of weeks’ break that’s fine, but you can’t keep hopping across week to week as that is too much. It will take it out of you quickly.
“Rory might need a base over there [the US] where he can relax and do the things he would normally do at home. I’m sure he has all that covered and he has been well advised.”
McIlroy, 20, announced ahead of this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open that he would take out a full PGA Tour card next season, although he insisted Europe would remain his “home” tour.
Poulter – recent winner of the Singapore Open, his eighth European Tour victory – backed the young Northern Irishman’s decision.
“Rory has himself in a position where he is ranked 17th in the world and has very quickly got on the big stage. If he widens where he plays, then great.
“He will play stronger fields than he has the last couple of years. It’s up to him and it’s seriously hard work. I’ve done it the last few years and it’s tiring but if you play well you can finish high up on both money lists.
“I’d expect him to finish high on both sides as long as he plays well and gets his rest time.
“The opportunity is there so you can’t blame him for giving it a go. He has one hell of a game and it might put him in good stead heading into the Majors. It might help him get better quicker.”
Poulter and McIlroy are among the favourites for the US$2.5 million UBS Hong Kong Open, which tees off tomorrow (Thursday) at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.
Other stars on show include Asia’s first Major winner, Yang Yong Eun, world No.4 Lee Westwood and former British Open champions Mark O’Meara and Ben Curtis.
Poulter, currently 10th on the European Tour’s Race To Dubai money list, is playing the UBS Hong Kong Open for the first time since 2004 and he is looking forward to the challenge of negotiating Fanling’s tight par-70 layout.
“It’s good to be back,” he said. “The course is better than it was then and the greens are great. It’s nice to familiarise myself again with some of the tricky holes out there.”
McIlroy is back at Fanling after losing a thrilling playoff to Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen Tang 12 months ago. Lin is also in the line-up as he bids to successfully defend his title.
The UBS Hong Kong Open is once again co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.