Dubai: Next year's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship will feature arguably the strongest field ever assembled at a Middle East golf tournament, with three reigning major champions due to play at the showpiece.
Organisers the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and title sponsor HSBC unveiled an eye-catching roster of some of the biggest names in the sport for the January 26-29 event.
Charl Schwartzel (US Masters champion), Rory McIlroy (US Open) and Darren Clarke (British Open) will battle it out for the European Tour-sanctioned event's $2.7 million (Dh9.92 million) prize fund at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
The trio will be joined by Luke Donald, the current world No 1, and three other players that have reached the summit of the sport's rankings: Martin Kaymer, the defending champion and three-time Falcon trophy winner, Englishman Lee Westwood, and Abu Dhabi debutant Tiger Woods — the most famous name in golf.
With more household names set to be confirmed in coming weeks, half of the world's top ten — including Australia's Jason Day, the current world No 8 — will square-off around the National Course for the championship's seventh showing. The contenders also include Korean sensation KJ Choi, the current world No 15.
"The giants of golf are coming to Abu Dhabi," said Faisal Al Shaikh, Head of Events Division at ADTA.
"Traditionally, we have prioritised depth of field at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and that has not changed for our seventh year. It is safe to say we are amassing the finest field to ever contest a Middle East tournament.
"Much-loved by Abu Dhabi galleries, the ever-popular Martin Kaymer will be back; but to win a fourth title he must overcome his sternest challenge yet. The collection of world-class contenders includes familiar faces and some new ones. We are confident that record crowds will gather to see Tiger Woods make his Abu Dhabi debut in what will be his only competitive Middle East appearance of the year."