DP World Tour announce new match-play team event to take place in Abu Dhabi

Three-day competition, staged in January, aimed at helping Europe prepare for next year's Ryder Cup

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald competes at the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, in May 2022. AP
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Abu Dhabi Golf Club will in January host the Hero Cup, a new team match-play event on the DP World Tour designed to provide European players experience in team golf.

The event, announced on Tuesday, will run from January 13-15 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the week before the Rolex Series' Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links.

Two 10-man teams comprising players from Great Britain & Ireland and Continental Europe will be selected by Luke Donald, the 2023 European Ryder Cup captain, in consultation with the respective team captains. The two captains are yet to be named. Donald will work with both teams in Abu Dhabi.

The Hero Cup will comprise one session of foursomes, one session of fourballs and one session of singles matches, with all 20 players taking part in each session.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Donald said: “One of the first things I was keen to do when I was appointed as Ryder Cup captain was to reinstate a team match-play contest to give playing and leadership experience to future Ryder Cup players, vice-captains and captains.

“I spoke to a number of former Ryder Cup captains who were strong advocates of how similar events in the past have benefitted players who were pushing to make Ryder Cup teams, as well as their own captaincy journey.

“I am therefore grateful to Hero MotoCorp and the DP World Tour for supporting the concept of the Hero Cup, and I look forward to seeing the players compete at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in January.”

The teams will be confirmed following the season-concluding DP World Tour Championship, which takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 17-20. Tuesday’s statement said performance on the DP World Tour rankings would be taken into account in the player-selection process.

Guy Kinnings, European Ryder Cup director and DP World Tour deputy CEO and chief commercial officer, said: “The Hero Cup is another example of Hero MotoCorp’s commitment to innovation in golf and to our Tour in general.

“We are therefore extremely grateful to Dr Munjal for his continued support and for backing this new event, which is an evolution of our proud tradition of team match-play events.

“Our thanks also go to Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Emirates Golf Federation for their support of the DP World Tour, and to Abu Dhabi Golf Club for hosting this event which will be a fantastic way to start the 2023 calendar year.”

Aref Al Awani, general secretary at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Hero Cup at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, adding yet another fantastic tournament to our roster of world-class sporting events.

“Team match play is always an exciting format and, along with our Rolex Series event the following week at Yas Island, we are thrilled to welcome the DP World Tour players to Abu Dhabi for two consecutive weeks at the start of 2023.”

Updated: September 06, 2022, 12:34 PM