When is the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA? Lowdown on the 2019 tournament
Defending champion Fleetwood will be joined by world No 1 Koepka as well as the ever-present Stenson at The National course
Tommy Fleetwood will be bidding to make it a hat-trick of titles at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA this month.
The Englishman will be one of a number of global stars treading the fairways of The National Course when the European Tour’s Desert Swing gets under way.
The championship will be played from Wednesday, January 16 to Saturday, January 19.
It has been switched from the conventional Thursday to Saturday programme, ostensibly to give breathing room for the Asian Cup football tournament, which is ongoing in the UAE.
The hours of play will not overlap with any of the football: the final round of group matches start at 5.30pm on the Wednesday and Thursday, while Friday and Saturday are rest days before the quarter-finals start.
Given that crowds at the golf have usually been at their largest on the weekend days in the past, the Saturday finish is likely to give more spectators the chance to see the final day’s play than in the past.
The food trucks in the spectator village open at 7am on Wednesday, while the first match will tee off at 7.20am.
Fleetwood will be returning to defend the title he won in both 2016 and 2017.
The 26-year-old, who was one of the brightest stars in Europe’s Ryder Cup win in France last year, will be attempting to match Martin Kaymer’s record tally of three titles in the capital.
The world No 12 – he is currently sandwiched between Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods in the rankings – will have some stiff competition at Abu Dhabi Golf Course.
Brooks Koepka, the world No 1, is set to play, while his United States Ryder Cup teammate Dustin Johnson, the world No 3, will also be returning to try to claim the Abu Dhabi title for a first time.
Henrik Stenson will be lining up to play in the event for the 14th time. The Swedish world No 26 has played every time since it started.
The former Dubai resident holds the course record – which is 62 – but he has yet to add the title to those he has previously won on the Desert Swing, namely the Qatar Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic.
General admission tickets are available for Dh50, but there are also a variety of concessions. For more information, visit https://www.ticketmaster.ae.
Updated: January 7, 2019 07:53 AM