New Yorker Chris DiMarco holds the trophy after the final round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on January 22, 2006. Image Credit: Organiser

Abu Dhabi: The inaugural Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, played in 2006, teed off with an all-star cast of the world’s best golfers, including Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter, battling it out for a share of the €1,652,487 prize money.

It was Chris DiMarco, however, playing in his first European Tour event outside the Majors and World Golf Championships, who came from behind to claim a one-shot victory over Stenson in a dramatic final day’s play.

Carding an impressive fourth round of 67 and finishing the tournament 19 under par, the 35-year-old New Yorker set a benchmark for the kind of high drama now so familiar at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

The win was made all the more remarkable for US Ryder Cup player DiMarco, whose wife Amy acted as his caddie for the week.

The win also ended a four-year barren run in tournament golf for the American, who later said: “It’s a big monkey off my back to win here — four years since my last and I’m just relieved.”

The Championship was also marked by a unique ‘Swing on the Wing’ longest drive competition, with English duo Paul Casey and Ian Poulter teeing off the wing of an Etihad Airways aeroplane — the UAE’s national carrier.

Gulf News will look back at all previous editions of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the build-up to the 10th edition of the tournament, which tees off at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 15.