This week sees the return of the regular season events on The European Tour after last weeks Volvo Golf Champions event which was won by South African Louis Oosthuizen after coming from 5 behind at the start of the final round to win by 1 from the current in form player Scotland’s Scott Jamieson who has finished first, second and third in his 3 starts of the 2013 season.
So the European Tour moves from Africa to Asia and Abu Dhabi for the 8th playing of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship being played at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club which has held every event since its inception in 2006. The event joined other now established events in the Gulf states such as next weeks Qatar Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic which is to be played the following week.
The event which carries one of the bigger purses on the schedule always attracts big name players and this year is no exception with World Number 1 Rory McIlroy, Americans Tiger Woods and Jason Dufner as well as three time winner Martin Kaymer taking part.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club will be stretched to a massive 7600 yds and carry a par of 72, despite this Martin Kaymer is a collective 60 under par for his 3 victories including setting the tournament record of 24 under par in winning by 8 shots from Rory McIlroy in 2011. The course is carved out of the desert and it is one of the most luxurious golf resorts in the Middle East. It has 27 holes which moves through undulating terrain with many areas of palms and shrubs. Water also comes in to play with seven saltwater lakes around the course and to not forget you are in the desert there are 70 bunkers strategically placed throughout the 18 holes.
To start and end the experience is the most impressive clubhouse, which is built in the shape of a falcon with its wings outstretched and the building dominates the landscape especially when you are playing the par five 18th.
No doubt the pairing to watch over the opening two days is definitely the one containing Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Rory will be playing his first tournament as a Nike Staff player and what a way it would be to start their partnership with his first win of 2013 or can Tiger tame all in front of him and show that he is still the man to beat and Nike’s number 1. Either way it is sure to be an exciting week of golf.