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Rocca To Tee Off Against Daly

Costantino Rocca is hoping to upstage big-hitting John Daly when he faces the American in the opening round of the US$350,000 Hong Kong Open on Thursday.

It will be the duo's first head-to-head meeting since their epic 1995 Open Championship playoff.

Rocca, fresh from helping Italy to second place in the World Cup of Golf last weekend, was brimming with confidence as he prepared to face Daly, who beat him at Saint Andrews three years ago.

"I haven't played with John since the Open. It will be good if I can get a better score than him tomorrow," Rocca said.

"Playing with John is always good fun. I'm looking forward to it and if I play like I did in New Zealand then I will have a good chance of getting off to a strong start," he added.

While Rocca was happy with his form, Daly would be taking another step on the comeback trail when he tees off at the exclusive Hong Kong Golf Club.

"I feel like I'm getting back to my best form," said Daly, who has fought a running battle with alcoholism in recent years.

Also on the road to recovery was defending Hong Kong Open champion Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, who partners Rocca and Daly in the first round.

Nobilo, who has stopped taking medication for arthritis, said he was slowly getting back his fitness.

"I've haven't really been properly fit for two years. But I took my last pill last week and I feel fine. I just can't wait to start getting fit and playing some good golf again," he said.

Others to tee off in this week's event were Spaniard José Maria Olazábal, South African David Frost and 1996 U.S. PGA winner Mark Brooks.

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