EUROPEAN ICONS LOOKING TO START STRONG AT THE 2018 ABU DHABI HSBC CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY EGA

Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Thomas Bjørn all set for 2018 Championship

Abu Dhabi, UAE (30 December, 2017) – The 13th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, taking place on 18-21 January, has been further boosted following the news that household names Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Thomas Bjørn will all be returning to the Championship fray in 2018.

These European golfing heavyweights join the headlining pack of 2017 European Tour prize money winner and defending Champion, Tommy Fleetwood, World Number One, Dustin Johnson, four-time Major winner, Rory McIlroy and 2016 Open Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist, Henrik Stenson. Furthermore, American Ryder Cup star and Olympic Bronze Medallist, Matt Kuchar, and two-time championship winner Paul Casey also join the field.

With even more outstanding players to be announced, the roster for Abu Dhabi in 2018 underlines the championship’s reputation for delivering a world-class field year on year. Over the four-day championship, 126 players will compete for a total prize purse of $3,000,000 – an increase of $300,000 from previous years.

Despite a quiet 2017, the well-decorated Graeme McDowell is raring to get things going in 2018, recently announcing that he has put together a five-year plan to revive his game.

McDowell said: “After a very positive end to my 2017 season and some hard work ahead over the Christmas break, I’m looking forward to starting my 2018 season again in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship always provides wonderful playing conditions – it’s a great way to kick off the year.”

Ian Poulter, one of golf’s most colourful characters and a self-professed petrol head, is certainly revved up for a fast start in 2018. Having almost lost his PGA Tour card earlier in the year, he dramatically turned his fortunes around finishing with a top-60 finish in the 2017 FedEx Cup.

Poulter, another seasoned Abu Dhabi Golf Club visitor, said: “Everybody knows 2018 is going to be massive,” expressed Poulter. “I want to get out of the block quickly and set the tone for my season. My main goal for the year is obviously to make the Ryder Cup team and I’m going to be working extremely hard to reach that goal – and it all starts in Abu Dhabi.”

Despite having over 20 years’ experience on the links and being Denmark’s most successful golfer, Thomas Bjørn’s upcoming season will undoubtedly be the most important of his career. ‘The Great Dane’, who has recently been named the 2018 Ryder Cup Captain, boasts over 20 European Tour wins and is a regular competitor at the championship.

Speaking ahead of his return to the challenging national course, Bjørn said: “I can’t wait to get the year started. It’s going to be a massive year, so how we start at the championship in Abu Dhabi could help set the tone for the remainder of 2018. I’ll not only be working on my own game, but I’ll be keenly watching how our European players get on against what is, once again, a world class field.”

The 2017 Official World Golf Ranking’s end of season list confirmed that the 2017 Championship boasted the 2nd strongest field on the 2017 European Tour season – not including the Majors and World Golf Championships. This list was calculated by the number of top-200 world ranked players in the field, with the highest ranked players contributing more points towards the total event strength of field rating. Previous championships have seen over 80,000 spectators attend in person, as well as broadcast reach consistently exceeding 450 million viewers, so the 13th edition will be looking to go one better in 2018, surpassing previous record numbers.

The 2018 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA will run from January 18 – January 21 with Abu Dhabi Sports Council looking to top this year’s turnout of over 69,000 spectators. The 2017 tournament grew the championship’s social media following by over 65% and the HD TV coverage, with a potential reach of almost half a billion viewers, allowed a global audience to watch the world’s best vie for the coveted Falcon Trophy and a share in the US $3 million prize purse.

 

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About Abu Dhabi Sports Council

Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) was established in 2006 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

ADSC is aligned to the emirate’s leadership vision to develop sport and youth activities. The Council promotes an effective, emirate-wide sports calendar that stimulates the desire to participate in quality sports among all Abu Dhabi residents and helps the talented and motivated reach their sporting potential.

The Council also hosts and supports the staging of international world-class sporting events. These include: the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship; the Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; the ITU World Triathlon Series; both the Abu Dhabi and Gary Player Invitationals; the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final; the Red Bull Air Race; the Mubadala World Tennis Championship; the 2017 and 2018 FIFA Club World Cups; the 2019 AFC Asian Cup UAE and the UCI WorldTour event, The Abu Dhabi Tour.

We at ADSC firmly believe that sporting events deliver a host of benefits for the emirate and its residents. These span improved health and wellness, the building of community spirit, the discovering of local talent and the delivery of international exposure of the emirate as a world-class sporting events hub.

Whether it is land, sea or air, we have sport covered.

About HBSC

HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.

HSBC Holdings plc

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 4,400 offices in 71 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,557bn at 30 September, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

HSBC in the MENA Region

HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with a presence in 8 countries across the region.  HSBC has operations in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Algeria. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 40% shareholder of Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 49% shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia for investment banking in the Kingdom.

This presence, the widest reach of any bank in the region, comprises some 250 offices and around 11,000 employees. In the year ending 31st December 2016, HSBC in the MENA region made a profit before tax of US$ 1.5bn.

About HSBC Golf Sponsorships

HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite.

HSBC is a proud patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The R&A creates a centre of gravity to a global golf portfolio that spans HSBC’s key markets.  In Asia, HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events with its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.  The $9.5m WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and has made such an impact, that Rory McIlroy describes China as “an unstoppable force in world golf.”  HSBC has been co-title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship since 2010 and the event has quickly become one of the biggest events on the European PGA Tour.

However, underpinning those international flagship events is a longer-term ambition to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes. In China, HSBC supports the HSBC China Junior Golf Program, a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. In Hong Kong, HSBC supports the HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme, a structured pathway for children to try the sport for the first time, develop their skills and, for those talented enough, the chance to represent Hong Kong on the international stage. In the UK, HSBC is sponsor of HSBC Golf Roots – The Golf Foundation’s national development programme which promotes the sport in schools, helps youngsters into clubs and uses golf to promote important life skills.

For more details on HSBC’s golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com

About EGA 

Emirates Global Aluminium is equally-owned by Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi and the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

It is the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside the oil and gas industry, and the largest company jointly owned by the two Emirates.

EGA’s aluminium is the second largest made-in-the UAE export after oil and gas. EGA has a production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of aluminium per year. EGA is the only UAE producer and makes the UAE the fifth largest aluminium producing nation in the world.

EGA has more than 350 customers in over 60 countries. About 80 per cent of EGA’s production is value added products, one of the highest proportions of any aluminium company in the world.

EGA’s aluminium is primarily used in the construction, automotive, packaging, aerospace and electronics industries.

Over 10 per cent of EGA’s production is sold in the UAE to around 26 downstream aluminium companies that make products with EGA’s aluminium. The growing broader aluminium sector in the UAE already employs around 30,000 people, making it the largest employer amongst the UAE’s energy intensive industries.

EGA itself employs around 7,000 of these people including almost 1,200 UAE Nationals.

EGA has focused on technology development for over 25 years. EGA has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s. In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to licence its core industrial process technology internationally.

As a corporate citizen of the UAE, Emirates Global Aluminium aspires in all its operations to be measured amongst the world’s leading metals and mining companies in meeting its environmental and social responsibilities.

In 2017, EGA became the first Middle East headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a global programme to foster greater sustainability and transparency in the aluminium industry.

EGA was formed in 2014 through the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Emirates Aluminium.