Red-hot Henrik Stenson will return to UAE for Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

The tournament announced on Tuesday the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai double winner would be back in the UAE in January.

Henrik Stenson won the DP World Tour Championship in November by shooting a course-record 25-under 263. Andrew Redington / Getty Images
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Henrik Stenson, who put an exclamation point on a breakthrough 2013 season in the UAE, will return here for his first action of 2014 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the tournament announced on Tuesday.

The red-hot Swede is coming off a banner year in which he became the first golfer to complete the double of winning the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup as well as the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.

Stenson is no stranger to success in the Gulf, having won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November. He also owns previous career victories at the Dubai Desert Classic (2007) and Qatar Masters (2006). He lived in the UAE for eight years until leaving in early 2012.

“2013 finished on a high in the UAE and it would be great if 2014 started on a high in the UAE,” said the 37 year old and current world No 3.

“The country was a fantastic home for us for eight years and I’ve always enjoyed playing here.”

The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is the lone Gulf title Stenson has yet to win. He finished as co-runner up to Martin Kaymer with Lee Westwood in 2008, four strokes back, and in 2006 he placed second just a stroke behind Chris DiMarco.

“There’s a falcon-sized gap in my trophy cabinet that I’d dearly love to fill,” he said. “Not just because of the 2006 and 2008 near misses but so I can become the first player to complete the sweep of Gulf titles.”

Stenson finished 23rd at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, shooting a 5-under 283, improving on a disappointing 2012 showing at the tournament in which he shot a 9-over 153, missing the cut and finishing 120th.

“The National course gets a bit tougher each year and the Championship has become one of the most coveted on the Tour, so it would be great to tee off the season in style here,” he said.

Stenson joins a tournament field that already includes notables Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Matteo Manassero, Sergio Garcia, Jamie Donaldson and Kaymer.