Tournament: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Rolex Series: First Rolex Series tournament of 2023
Race to Dubai Rankings: Tournament 7 of 45 events
Venue: Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Prize Fund: $9,000,000
Hashtag: #ADGolfChamps #RolexSeries #DPWT
Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowry are both raring to go ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first Rolex Series event of the season, at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.
The duo have both tasted success in this event, with Fleetwood winning back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 before Lowry followed suit by triumphing in 2019, and they arrive at Yas Links after both representing Great Britain and Ireland at last week’s inaugural Hero Cup.
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is the season-opening event of the Rolex Series, which features five premium events on the DP World Tour in 2023, spread across four key points in the global golfing calendar, each event enhanced by a minimum US$9million prize fund.
Englishman Fleetwood would become only the second player in the event’s history to claim the title on three separate occasions with a victory this week, while Ireland’s Lowry is hunting his third Rolex Series title following his win in Abu Dhabi in 2019 and his memorable success at last year’s BMW PGA Championship.
The pair will be joined at Yas Links by their entire Great Britain and Ireland team from last week’s match play contest, including Ireland’s Séamus Power who will make his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship debut this week, as will Austria’s Sepp Straka following his appearance for Team Continental Europe at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Defending Champion Thomas Pieters will attempt to join Fleetwood as a back-to-back winner, while New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, a three-time DP World Tour winner, will make his first start of the calendar year following a stellar 2022 during which he won twice – at the Ras al Khaimah Classic and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – and finished second on the season-long Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.
Tommy Fleetwood: “It’s always in a lot of our plans to come out and start the year here. It’s a perfect place really it be starting the season from weather facilities, the strength of the tournaments and the strengths of the fields I think it’s a great way to get going in the year. And I think early doors in particular in a Ryder Cup year, if you like, a big part is having a big start to the year and the following week is a good way of getting right back into it.
“It’s good to get into that competitive spirit and that competitive mindset and see what’s good and see what things we might be able to improve on coming into this week.
“I remember playing the EurAsia Cup in 2018, and it was a good week to start the season going into a competitive week. Don’t be surprised to see the guys that were there last week were there on the top of the leaderboard.
Shane Lowry: “I felt like I played all right last week, actually and I need to make sure that I don’t lose too much confidence in the results and think about the results too much because I think if you look at my game and look at my scoring, I was actually okay.
“So I need to take that into this week and come here — I played well here last year. I was in the last group with Thomas on Sunday. Didn’t perform as best I could, but, you know, put myself there.
“I like the golf course. It’s a bit tricky and can get windy around here. Hopefully I can come here and have a really nice week. The golf course, I haven’t really been out there yet. I was just on the 18th green doing a photo and it looks incredible and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the condition of it, so looking forward to it.”