The first European Tour season is the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 21-24.
Part of the Desert Swing on the European Tour, the Abu Dhabi event sees some of the leading names from the PGA Tour make the trip to the Middle East to form part of a stellar line-up.
Lee Westwood is the defending champion having won in Abu Dhabi last year by two shot from Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Victor Perez.
The will formed part of Westwood’s victory in the Race To Dubai.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship History
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship event was first held in 2006 and has become one of the leading events on the European Tour. It is part of the prestigious Rolex Series.
Sponsored by HSBC since 2011, the $7 million event attracts a high class field looking for early season form and has been won by some of the world’s leading golfers.
Triple winner Martin Kaymer and two-time champions Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood are joined on the roll of honour by the likes of Rickie Fowler, Shane Lowry and Westwood.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, is a four-time runner-up.
Kaymer holds the four-round tournament record having posted a score of 24-under par in 2011 when defeating McIlroy by eight shots.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Course
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, which hosts the event, was only opened in 1998 but is a spectacular setting.
The course measures 7,600 yards and poses a par-72 challenge. Water comes into play on nine of the 18 holes.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Contenders
Rory McIlroy has opted to started his 2021 season in the European Tour event rather than at The American Express on the PGA Tour.
World number seven McIlroy will be bidding to end his record of finishing as runner-up at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on four separate occasions.
World number three Justin Thomas, from the scandal of his homophobic slur at the Tournament of Champions and being dropped by Ralph Lauren, has also made the trip from the United States for the event.
Defending champion Lee Westwood will be joined by last year’s DP World Tour Championship winner Matthew Fitzpatrick, world number 10 Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter.
Martin Kaymer, Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett will also begin their bid to make the 2021 Ryder Cup team.
European Team captain Padraig Harrington will be joining his potential selections by playing in Abu Dhabi.