Sun, Jan 11, 2015

Top players get set to tee off in Abu Dhabi

The 10th Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship will gather one of the best fields of the year on the European Tour in terms of strength and depth. 

The first tournament in the European Tour 2015 schedule, the championship will be held at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from January 15 to 18.

Some of golf’s biggest names, including four of the world’s top 10, will tee off at the event, which has a prize purse of $2.7 million. 

Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, ranked number one and two in the world, will head the 126 draw with world number five Justin Rose and three-time Champion Martin Kaymer also among the favourites to challenge for the 2015 title, currently held by Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal.  

American star Rickie Fowler, ranked 10th in the world, will also make his Arabian debut as he attempts to win his first European Tour event at one of the toughest tournaments on the calendar.

Stars of the 2014 European Ryder Cup Team, Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson are amongst those looking to start their year off with a bang by securing one of the most coveted titles on the European Tour. 

They will be joined by a whole host of Europe’s finest including the likes of Nicolas Colsearts, David Howell, Robert Karlsson, Oliver Wilson and Edoardo Molinari. 

The future of the European Tour has never looked brighter with a new generation of talented youngsters regularly taking titles and featuring on leaderboards each week. Heading this list is Abu Dhabi’s global golf ambassador, Matteo Manassero, a record-breaking four-time winner by the age of 20, while Alexander Levy, Thorbjorn Olesen, Eddie Pepperell, Tommy Fleetwood, Emiliano Grillo, Peter Uihlein, Oliver Fisher, and Tyrrell Harron are all exciting young talents to look out for.

Additionally, the world’s best will be faced with the most challenging test yet posed by Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National Course following a series of enhancements. After previous work on tightening fairways, adding bunkers and toughening the rough, 2015 brings water into play. 

Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship and Events at HSBC, says: “One of the main reasons why this tournament has earned a reputation as the jewel in the crown of Middle Eastern golf is the sheer quality of the field. Year on year it just gets better and better as the world’s best players gravitate to Abu Dhabi – World No 1 Rory McIlroy starts his new year with us, World No 2 Henrik Stenson is back hoping to go one better than 2006 and 2008 and Rickie Fowler had a stellar year in 2014 and will be looking for more of the same. Add in three-time winner Martin Kaymer and Ryder Cup stars Justin Rose, Victor Dubuisson and defending champion Pablo Larrazábal and it really is a mouth-watering prospect.”

The Abu Dhabi championship has earned something of a reputation over the past decade of throwing up one or two surprises – a trend Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism for Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which owns and organises the event, believes now applies both on and off the fairways. 

“Over the years, we’ve congratulated great champions and watched the game’s giants sometimes be edged out in a flurry of tense finales and unexpected results. At the same time, players and spectators have seen the destination come up with some surprising and well above-par developments year-on-year. We’re looking forward to watching the drama unfold at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and to showing off our latest attention-grabbing attractions and products off the course. We hope all will be very pleasantly surprised.”

TCA Abu Dhabi manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. 

HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to around 89 million customers through four global businesses: Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking. 

HSBC Holdings, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The group serves customers worldwide from over 6,200 offices in over 74 countries and territories in Asia, Europe, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2.72 trillion, the HSBC Group is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

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