Watch: Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy get in first Abu Dhabi face-off

Jordan Spieth, with Rickie Fowler, and Rory McIlroy, partnered with Henrik Stenson, took part in a promotional event at Saadiyat Beach Club on Wednesday.

Golfers Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy shown at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on Tuesday. Matthew Lewis / Getty Images / January 19, 2016
Powered by automated translation

Jordan Spieth already has one up on Rory McIlroy in 2016.

The duo will face off as much-anticipated headline acts in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship starting on Thursday, but before that Spieth paired up with Rickie Fowler to top McIlroy and Henrik Stenson in the ‘Rider Cup’ Desert Challenge promotional event on Tuesday.

The fouresome played at Saadiyat Beach Club in Abu Dhabi, with Spieth and Fowler narrowly edging McIlroy and Henson in a race to finish the first hole of the course, combining Texas Scramble golf with a new product, GolfBoards, that kind of resemble a segway for the golf course.

“Jordan nearly took me out,” McIlroy said in a press release of the event, “when HSBC get us together they always do something fun and it was actually quite competitive this year.”

Spieth joked back, “He’s one very good player that I could have taken out of the field.”

With the European Tour event giving the golf world its first glimpse of Spieth and McIlroy in the same tournament for the new season, McIlroy added:

“I don’t think there’s any better place to start the year than in Abu Dhabi with the weather, the field, the golf course that HSBC put together. It’s a real competitive start to the year.”

Spieth echoed his rival, saying he was excited for “one of the biggest events of the year which kick starts the world tour”.

Below, you can see video from the event.

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at