DJ JOINS STELLAR LINE-UP FOR ABU DHABI
US Open champ joins stellar field
Reigning US Open champion Dustin Johnson will play in the UAE for the first time next year after being confirmed as part of a strong field at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The 32-year-old American will head to the UAE capital in January hoping to continue the impressive form shown this year as he won his maiden major, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW Championship. However, it won’t be easy for Johnson to gain victory at Abu Dhabi Golf Club with reigning champion Ricky Fowler, fourtime major winner Rory McIlroy, Masters champion Danny Willett and current Open champion Henrik Stenson all returning to the tournament, which will take place from January 19-22. “I’m really looking forward to it and pleased to have the opportunity to play in Abu Dhabi,” said Johnson. “I’ve never been there but I’ve heard really good things about the golf course from Rickie and Rory, who tell me I’m definitely going to like it. So I’m really excited about going.” While Johnson will make his first appearance at the tournament, Stenson has played in all previous 11 editions and is thrilled to have seen it grow in that time.
“It’s great to see the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship grow so much over the years and HSBC is putting a lot of effort and commitment into golf by hosting one of the top events on the European Tour,” he said. “It’s a great way for me to start my season – good weather, good practice, good courses and we get well looked after.
“I’ve been second twice in Abu Dhabi so that would be a nice one to add to the collection.”
While Stenson has yet to win in Abu Dhabi, Fowler claimed victory in just his second appearance at the event earlier this year.
The 27-year-old American enjoyed a memorable 2016, also winning the Phoenix Open, playing at the Rio Olympics and helping the US team win the Ryder Cup.
“Abu Dhabi was a high point for my 2016 season along with competing in the Olympic Games and being on the winning 2016 USA Ryder Cup Team,” said Fowler. “Coming out on top against the strongest field on the European Tour was as good a start as anyone could aspire to so I’m excited to go back.”
Also in action in Abu Dhabi will be European Tour stars Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters, Lee Westwood and Thonchai Jaidee.
READY FOR BATTLE: Dustin Johnson is excited to play in the UAE for the very first time