Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy is set for a stunning return to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship where he has his sights focused on winning his first Falcon Trophy.
McIlroy, who has teed off his season in Abu Dhabi for the past seven years and has been a three-time runner up in the UAE capital, says he’d love to finally conquer the event during its 10 year anniversary celebrations. And with a recent stretch of success behind him that has brought two Major wins, McIlroy believes he can continue the scintillating form into his season opener in January at Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National course.
“Over the past few months I have been mentally strong and I feel very good about my game at the moment,” said McIlroy, who will attempt a career grand slam at Augusta in April next year.
“Greatness in golf is winning Major Championships but after playing in Abu Dhabi for so many years and having come so close in the past, I would love nothing more than to win at the event’s 10 year anniversary. That would be something very special and would mean a lot to me.”
McIlroy has enjoyed an incredible run of form this summer, clinching three huge back-to-back events in the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship to revive his position as the world’s top golfer. And with the Ryder Cup only weeks away, McIlroy’s magic touch will be called upon again as Europe shapes up to attempt a third consecutive victory in one of the world’s greatest sporting contests
The 25-year-old, however, narrowly missed out on bagging his first Falcon Trophy in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, after suffering a two-shot penalty to lose the joint-lead at the end of day three. McIlroy eventually shared second place with Phil Mickelson as Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal kept his nerve and added his name to the Championship’s history books.
McIlroy has experienced his share of ups-and-downs on the challenging course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. With another two runner-up results in 2011 and 2012, and third place in 2010, the Ulsterman has come nail-bitingly close on several occasions. The exception came in 2013 where he and Tiger Woods unexpectedly failed to make the cut.
“Rory’s presence will add to what promises to be the Championship’s most exciting year yet as we look to assemble another amazing line-up of the world’s top players to celebrate our tenth anniversary,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which owns and organises the Championship. “Abu Dhabi has come to mean a lot to the players over the years and we are so pleased to be welcoming Rory back for such an important milestone in the event’s history.”
HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events Giles Morgan said: “HSBC’s ambition is to open up the world of golf. That is exactly why we are involved in golf and in this tournament. I believe we are fulfilling our ambition in Abu Dhabi and by working closely with our partners, this Championship has evolved into an unmissable event which appeals to absolutely everyone.
“The Championship brings together all the ingredients required to excite and attract families, avid golfers and those completely new to the game and with the world’s best player heading a world class field on a stunning course alongside a host of family-friendly activities and entertainment, everything is in place for a sensational start to the golfing year in Abu Dhabi. It’s a winning formula and one we are continuing to build upon as we look to celebrate the landmark achievement of the 10th anniversary tournament and five years of HSBC sponsorship.”
Adding to McIlroy’s special affinity with Abu Dhabi was the global announcement of his partnership with Nike on the eve of the Championship in January 2013.
Tailored package details for the 2015 Championship, which will be held from January 15th
from www.golfinabudhabi.com. Championship packages include five nights’ accommodation in one of Abu Dhabi’s leading hotels, two rounds of golf on Abu Dhabi’s Championship courses, season passes to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship as well as an array of stunning tourism attractions. To top this off, all those who book packages will enjoy a complimentary clinic with a world top 30 player.