Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood hails “incredible” 2018 player line-up
Current World Number One Dustin Johnson to be joined by three former World Number Ones & nine of the top 20 world ranked players
2018 field boasts a combined 370 European Tour victories and 86 PGA Tour victories
Abu Dhabi, UAE (10 January, 2018) – The award-winning Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA has announced its final player field ahead of the action which tees off next week from 18 – 21 January, with notable additions to the world-class field including Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ernie Els, Tyrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, and Danny Willett.
Staged at the iconic Abu Dhabi Golf Club from next Thursday (January 18), golf fans from the UAE and across the globe, will have the chance to watch six former Abu Dhabi champions, 89 of the top 100 on the final 2017 European Tour rankings and 24 Ryder Cup stars who, between them, have a combined total of 62 Ryder Cup appearances, challenging for the famous falcon trophy.
The 2018 roster reads like a who’s who of world golf, including defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, World Number One, Dustin Johnson, four-time Major winner, Rory McIlroy, Olympic Gold Medallist Justin Rose, 2016 Open Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist, Henrik Stenson and Olympic Bronze Medallist Matt Kuchar, to name but a few.
With a number of Championship invites still to be announced later this week, already challenging to win this year’s coveted title is an illustrious final field that between them boast 16 Major titles, 370 European Tour victories and 86 PGA Tour victories, underlining the fact that the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA is one of the Official World Golf Ranking’s strongest international events.
Reigning champion and World Number 18, Tommy Fleetwood is in no doubt about the challenge he faces in retaining this year’s Falcon Trophy, mainly due to the golfing talent set to appear this January. Fleetwood observed:
“The line-up of players is incredible again this year and is a great testament to the quality of the tournament that Abu Dhabi Sports Council hosts with the support of HSBC. The fact it includes so many Major winners and past champions is one of the reasons why we all play here. Winning in Abu Dhabi last year really was the start of my best season ever, and coming out on top of so many of the world’s best players made the win even more special. This year will be my first ever defence of a title so will be memorable for that reason.”
Popular Spanish star, Rafa Cabrera Bello, ranked 20th in the world, is set to appear in his 10th Championship next week commenting:
“I’m looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi for my 10th consecutive year. It is a fantastic place to start 2018 and, as always, the field is set to be one of the strongest we will see all season. It’s one of my favourite events on the calendar and, having finished as high as fourth in the past, I know the course suits me.”
England’s Tyrrell Hatton, who featured on the leaderboard at last year’s Championship until a final round 75 derailed his challenge added:
“I can’t wait. I’ve been working hard on my game in the off-season and cannot wait to get back out competing. Abu Dhabi is a world-class field and with so many Official World Golf Ranking and Ryder Cup points on offer, it’s a very important week for us all.”
Ahead of the Championship, His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, spoke enthusiastically about the four-day event and the future of golf in the country:
“Abu Dhabi is committed to delivering world-class sporting events and our 2018 field of players, including the stand-out World No.1, is testament to this. I look forward to welcoming such an impressive field and visitors from across the world to witness the pinnacle of sport during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
With the support of HSBC and EGA, the Championship has firmly placed itself as one of the premier golf tournaments in the world, with the stunning National Course sitting alongside the world-class Championship Village.
Abdulfattah Sharaf CEO of HSBC UAE reiterated the importance of the stellar player line up when it comes to making the Championship so special:
“Abu Dhabi has become known as the start of the global golfing season and is now one of the most important events in world golf. We are confident that our commitment to this great tournament will continue to drive the game forward. By offering world class sporting entertainment for the entire family on and off the course we aim to introduce even more people to this wonderful game and make golf even more accessible. We are thrilled by such a stellar field for the 2018 edition. This is great news for golf in the region.”
Last year’s Championship in 2017 boasted the 2nd strongest field on the 2017 European Tour season – not including the Majors & World Golf Championships, and this acted as a major draw for Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) when they decided to partner with the Championship for the first time in 2018. Commenting on the player additions, Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and CEO of EGA said:
“Looking at the final player line-up alone, it’s an exciting prospect and promises a fantastic Championship. This field along with the world-class golf course and perfect weather guarantees a spectacular start to the year – we’re delighted to be a part of the 2018 edition.”
Previous championships have seen over 60,000 spectators attend, as well as broadcast consistently reaching over 450 million viewers, so the 13th edition will be looking to go one better in 2018, surpassing previous record numbers. Spectators will be particularly thrilled over the four-day championship, as 126 players will compete for a total prize purse of $3,000,000 – an increase of $300,000 from previous years.
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.
Facebook: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
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 Championship presented by EGA; the Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; the ITU World Triathlon Series; both the Abu Dhabi and Gary Player Invitationals; the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour, 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.
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
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.