A superb group of leading players from around the world are set to tee off this week at the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA and mount a challenge for the Falcon Trophy, as Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood seeks an unprecedented third successive win. Starting this Wednesday, the event, which recently became part of the prestigious Rolex Series and with a prize fund now at US$7million, will play host to no fewer than 21 Ryder Cup golfers and seven Major winners.
Joining a field which also contains American stars, World No.2 Brooks Koepka, World No.3 Dustin Johnson and 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson, is one of the most exciting talents in golf, Min Woo Lee. At just 20 years old, Lee recently won the South Australia Amateur Classic and, after a stellar amateur career, is making his professional debut this week courtesy of an invitation from the Championship committee.
The two other players benefiting from a Championship Committee invite are Germany’s Marcel Siem who has been ranked as high as 48 in the world, and China’s amateur star Yuxin Lin, who won the 2017 Asia-Pacific tournament resulting in qualification for both the 2018 Masters and the 2018 Open Championship last year.
Joining them in a bid for glory in Abu Dhabi will be the three qualifiers who battled it out to come through the pre-qualifying tournament at Yas Links last week. European Tour professional Callum Shinkwin from England shot a 63 on his way to winning the pre-qualifying tournament and Challenge Tour professional Dominic Foos from Germany also qualifies as best UAE Resident. The final place was claimed by leading Emirati Amateur, Saif Thabet from Abu Dhabi, who will compete for the Falcon Trophy for the first time in 2019, to the delight of the local fans.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome so many of the world’s best players to Abu Dhabi. The field of 132 players is rich in quality and diversity with 29 nationalities represented. Tommy certainly has a massive challenge on his hands if he wants to retain the Falcon Trophy for the third time. I urge all UAE residents to come and watch some of the highest quality golf you’ll see this year.”
Abdulfattah Sharaf, CEO UAE & Head of International Markets at HSBC Bank Middle East, said: “We’re in for a superb week – the start of the new golfing year, the start of the latest Desert Swing with some of the best golfers on the planet going toe to toe for the prestigious Falcon Trophy. To officially launch the tournament, we wanted to bring some of the world’s best players together and it was important to us to include some of our HSBC Future Falcons who we hope will go on to great things themselves.”
Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), said: “We are very excited to be a presenting partner for the 2019 Championship for our second year. We are delighted at the field that will gather this week and look forward to enjoying a fantastic week with our partners, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and HSBC.”
First staged in 2006, The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA is being hosted at the iconic Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the 14th consecutive year from January 16-19, 2019.