Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

Tommy Fleetwood targets three wins in a row in Abu Dhabi

Tommy Fleetwood targets three wins in a row in Abu Dhabi
Tommy Fleetwood targets three wins in a row in Abu Dhabi
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s the first Rolex Series event of the year this week on the European Tour. Tommy Fleetwood looks to make it three wins in a row in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

There’s a star-studded line-up for this, the 14th running of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA. The World’s second and third ranked players Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson both start, as does 2017 and 2018 champion Tommy Fleetwood.

As the first Rolex Series event of the year, this tournament has attracted many of the European Tour’s top players. Aside from defending champ Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Eddie Pepperell and Lee Westwood are all on the start list.

First contested in 2006, this is an event that was dominated by two players in the tournament’s early years – Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey. The Englishman won in 2007 and 2009 while the German has been the champion three times – 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Rickie Fowler triumphed in 2016 and Tommy Fleetwood took the title in both 2017 and 2018. Last year, the Englishman carded a final round 65 to finish two clear of his countryman Ross Fisher.

Now a Rolex Series event, the prize money for this tournament has been significantly increased. There’s now a purse of $7,000,000 making it richer, by over $1 million, than this week’s PGA Tour event at La Quinta.

The tournament is being played from Wednesday to Saturday this year rather than Thursday to Sunday in order to accommodate football’s Asian Cup.

Abu Dhabi GC's iconic falcon-shaped clubhouse

Abu Dhabi GC's iconic falcon-shaped clubhouse

Designed by renowned desert course architect Peter Harradine, the course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club is long and challenging with plenty of water hazards to negotiate. Stretched now to almost 7,600 yards, it’s a venue that suits the power hitters.

The weather forecast is good for the first two days of the event but it could be overcast on Friday and Saturday.

Venue: Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Date: Jan 17-20 Course stats: par 72, 7,583 yards Purse: $7,000,000 Defending champion: Tommy Fleetwood (-22)

How to watch the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA

TV Coverage: Wednesday 16 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 3.30am Thursday 17 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 7am Friday 18 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 8am Saturday 19 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 7am

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA?

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Players to watch:

Thomas Detry and Thomas Pieters

Thomas Detry and Thomas Pieters

Thomas Pieters – The Belgian finished in the top-five in this event and comes in on the back of his win with Thomas Detry in the ISPS Handa World Cup last November. Which leads us onto…

Thomas Detry – Same story as his countryman – He played well here last season and finished 2018 on a high.

Matt Wallace – The Englishman has proved himself one of the most steely competitors on the European Tour and he would love to take some big scalps in this early season event.

Key hole: 18th. Played directly towards the iconic Falcon shaped clubhouse, the final hole is a par-5 that’s been extended over the years and now measures 562 yards. It’s still reachable in two for the longest hitters and that means the tournament could swing at the death.

Fergus Bisset
Fergus Bisset

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?