Sponsors want to keep tournament where it is

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Despite talk of moving the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship to another course, the chief sponsors want it to stay exactly where it is.

Giles Morgan, group head of sponsorship at HSBC, said Abu Dhabi Golf Club is the preferred option even though a proposed move to Saadiyat Beach or Yas Links is understood to be still on the table.

Morgan said: "We would be delighted to stay here and I think the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is very open to discussion.

"There's no agenda of having to move.

"There has been a lot of conjecture but we'll sit down properly for professional golf reasons and discuss.

"For all the pillars, TV, media, spectatorship, this place works extremely well.

Building a brand

"There may be other courses like Saadiyat and Yas that have a very good business case to make, but it needs to be the right case for the tournament, not for any other reason.

"We'll sit down and make the right decision for the tournament.

"It's fantastic to build a brand on a golf course — if people get into a habit of recognising ‘oh, this is where Kaymer made that dramatic winning shot on 18' or whatever, it helps build a brand of repetition.

"Unless you have the wrong course and then you should move as fast as you can.

"Nothing is ruled out because the decision hasn't been made.

"We'd like to explore staying here and that is our preference.

Special place

"We have to be open as well, if there's a brilliant business case elsewhere and it would work then of course we'd do it.

"Abu Dhabi has built something very special here and the various pillars needed to build a tournament, that are required to make it successful, are in place.

"This has a lot of very strong pillars which therefore makes a lot of sense to keep it here."