The second European Tour event of the new calendar year also marks the first Rolex Series event of the season, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
There are eight Rolex Series tournaments across the season, all offering higher prize money and more points towards the season-ending prize, the Race to Dubai. It starts with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
The first of those eight tournaments, which includes the finishing trio we saw in October and November of last year, is held at Abu Dhabi GC, with some of the world’s best coming across from the PGA TOUR to take part in one of the biggest events of the early-season action.
The course itself is a monster, at over 7,550 yards in length. The par-72 course at Abu Dhabi GC has seen some epic action in the past, and this week is sure to be no different.
All four par-5s on the course measure at over 565 yards, with the par threes also measuring no less than 170yds, making it one of the longest courses on the European Tour calendar.
With this being the first Rolex Series event of the season, the odds are high that the winner of this event will take the top spot on the Race to Dubai leaderboard come Sunday evening.
The current leader of the Race to Dubai standings is Branden Grace, who catapulted himself to the top after a victory at the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon.
He is part of our Power Rankings top ten for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, but does he take the top spot? What about reigning champion Shane Lowry? Or the World No.1? Well, only three of our ten have featured on the European Tour so far this season, so that could be a hint.
Take a look at our top ten going into the start of Thursday’s action and see if there is anyone we might have missed that you would put on there…