What is it?
Now in its 13th year, the tournament has established itself as one of the leading events on the European Tour outside of the majors and the World Golf Championships. It marks the beginning of the circuit's Desert Swing, but for the first time this year will run the week before the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, staged traditionally between the two, has been moved to next month.
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Who is playing?
This year is further proof of Abu Dhabi's ability to attract the game's big hitters, with world No 1 Dustin Johnson headlining a star-studded field. The American, who finished joint-second on debut to Tommy Fleetwood last year, will be joined by four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, 2016 British Open champion Henrik Stenson, 2016 Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose and reigning European No 1 Fleetwood, who returns to defend his crown. American Matt Kuchar makes his first appearance in the capital.
Fleetwood will be attempting to retain the Falcon Trophy following last year's success – a victory that sparked his run to the Race to Dubai title. Other past winners include three-time champion Martin Kaymer – 2008, 2010 and 2011 – and two-time champion Paul Casey, who won in 2007 and 2009. Both return to the National Course this month. Inaugural winner Chris DiMarco, Robert Rock, Jamie Donaldson, Pablo Larrazabal, Gary Stal and Rickie Fowler all have one victory each.
Entry is free on Monday and Tuesday (practice days) and for the Pro-Am on Wednesday. Daily tickets are available for the four days of action (Thursday to Sunday) at Dh50, with four-day season passes priced at Dh150. Hospitality packages are also available. To buy, visit www.ticketmaster.ae. For more information, go to www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com.