Organisers 'confident' Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will go ahead despite more rain forecast

The first leg of the European Tour's Desert Swing starts Thursday and runs through to Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 17:  Shane Lowry of Ireland plays his second shot on the ninth hole during Day Two of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 17, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
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Organisers of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA have assured golf fans that this week's tournament will go ahead despite more rain forecast ahead of the event.

Torrential rain has caused havoc across large swathes of the country since last Thursday, straining the UAE's drainage network, leading to flooding on many roads and residential areas.

Forecasters have said the UAE could continue to experience showers until Wednesday, almost a week after an unsettled spell began that resulted in widespread flash flooding and hundreds of traffic accidents.

The first leg of the European Tour's Desert Swing starts Thursday and runs through to Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club featuring the world's leading golfers including four-time major winner and world No 1 Brooks Kopeka, defending champion Shane Lowry, two-time winner Tommy Fleetwood, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter.

Peter German, the tournament's executive director, told The National that the adverse weather "has had no substantial effect" on the National Course and that the tournament will go ahead as scheduled.

"The golf course recovered extremely quickly from the heavy rainfall which is a tribute to the preparatory planning and the hard work put in by the excellent greenkeepers here at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club," he said.

"With the strong field, including Brooks Koepka, the world No 1, and, with an enhanced Championship village, we are confident the weather won’t stop the 15th Championship from providing the best spectator experience to date.

“The only real effect of the weather was that we had to switch the Sunday Qualifying Tournament from Yas Links to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club at the last minute which was remarkably seamless and demonstrated both the excellent array of golf courses on offer and the fantastic support the Championship enjoys from the entire golfing community in Abu Dhabi.”

The tournament is the first of the eight Rolex Series events on the European Tour. Heading into its 15th year, it carries an increased prize fund of $7 million (Dh25.7m).