Abu Dhabi: Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Thomas Bjørn will all be returning for the 13th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, taking place from January 18-21.
These European golfing heavyweights join the headlining pack of 2017 European Tour prize money winner and defending Champion, Tommy Fleetwood, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, four-time Major winner, Rory McIlroy and 2016 Open Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist, Henrik Stenson.
Furthermore, American Ryder Cup star and Olympic Bronze Medallist, Matt Kuchar, and two-time championship winner Paul Casey also join the field.
With even more outstanding players to be announced, the roster for Abu Dhabi in 2018 underlines the championship’s reputation for delivering a world-class field year on year. Over the four-day championship, 126 players will compete for a total prize purse of $3,000,000 – an increase of $300,000 from previous years.
Despite a quiet 2017, the well-decorated Graeme McDowell is raring to get things going in 2018, recently announcing that he has put together a five-year plan to revive his game.
“After a very positive end to my 2017 season and some hard work ahead over the Christmas break, I’m looking forward to starting my 2018 season again in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship always provides wonderful playing conditions – it’s a great way to kick off the year,” said McDowell.
Ian Poulter, one of golf’s most colourful characters and a self-professed petrol head, is certainly revved up for a fast start in 2018. Having almost lost his PGA Tour card earlier in the year, he dramatically turned his fortunes around finishing with a top-60 finish in the 2017 FedEx Cup.
Poulter, another seasoned Abu Dhabi Golf Club visitor, said: “Everybody knows 2018 is going to be massive,” expressed Poulter. “I want to get out of the block quickly and set the tone for my season. My main goal for the year is obviously to make the Ryder Cup team and I’m going to be working extremely hard to reach that goal – and it all starts in Abu Dhabi.”
Despite having over 20 years’ experience on the links and being Denmark’s most successful golfer, Thomas Bjørn’s upcoming season will undoubtedly be the most important of his career. ‘The Great Dane’, who has recently been named the 2018 Ryder Cup Captain, boasts over 20 European Tour wins and is a regular competitor at the championship.
Speaking ahead of his return to the challenging national course, Bjørn said: “I can’t wait to get the year started. It’s going to be a massive year, so how we start at the championship in Abu Dhabi could help set the tone for the remainder of 2018. I’ll not only be working on my own game, but I’ll be keenly watching how our European players get on against what is, once again, a world class field.”