Hatton, Fleetwood and Hovland latest stars confirmed for Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Rolex Series event from January 20-23 will be staged for first time at Yas Links

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Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton and former winners Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood and Shane Lowry are among the latest raft of players to be confirmed for this month’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – with Viktor Hovland and Adam Scott among others also heading for the Rolex Series tournament.

A host of players were announced on Saturday for the January 20-23 event, which takes place for the first time at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

2020 European Ryder Cup teammates Hovland, Ian Poulter and Bernd Wiesberger will be joined by captain Padraig Harrington, while former Masters winners Scott and Danny Willett will tee it up at the tournament alongside 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson.

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy and world No 2 Collin Morikawa - the American is the current Race to Dubai champion - had already been confirmed. For the first time, general admission to the event is free.

Last year, Hatton overcame overnight leader McIlroy to seal a four-shot victory and become only the second player to capture four Rolex Series titles.

In a release on Saturday, the world No 22 said: “Abu Dhabi was a crucial win for me in January. It was my sixth tour victory, and I was incredibly proud to join such an illustrious list of champions. It was without doubt the perfect start to my 2021 season.

“I’m excited to defend my trophy at Yas Links Abu Dhabi. It’s great to be at a new, world class venue and I know it will be a fantastic week with a stellar field.”

Fleetwood, another Ryder Cup teammate, lifted back-to-back Abu Dhabi crowns in 2017 and 2018, triumphing at the tournament’s traditional home at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. The event had been played on the National Course since its inception in 2006.

“I always love starting my season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and that is reflected by my results there down the years,” Fleetwood said. “It is set to be a great week at Yas Links, which is a great venue worthy of an event of this stature.”

Lowry, whose win in 2019 laid the foundation for his first major victory at the Open that following summer, added: “I’m really looking forward to starting my season in Abu Dhabi once again. I obviously have very fond memories of this event and there is always a great vibe as the year gets under way with great weather, a strong field and a lively atmosphere among the fans.”

Meanwhile, former world No 1 Scott has competed in Abu Dhabi only once before, in 2008, when he finished in a tie for 23rd. Scott's career highlight came with his win at the 2013 Masters.

Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said on Saturday: “We are delighted to welcome back our defending champion Tyrrell Hatton, along with our most recent tournament winners Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Lee Westwood to the 17th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“As we move our distinguished Championship to Yas Island for the first time, we are looking forward to showcasing the magnificent Yas Links golf course, the incredible facilities on offer for players and spectators alike, plus the stellar field of world class golfers kicking off an exciting year of sport in the UAE.”

Updated: January 08, 2022, 8:49 AM
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