Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas to play Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship | Golf News

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Rory McIlroy returns to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, where he has eight top-five finishes in 10 appearances without a win, while Justin Thomas makes his debut at the European Tour’s Rolex Series event

Last Updated: 16/12/20 10:11am

Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas will both tee it up in Dubai

Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have both confirmed they will be teeing it up at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship next month.

The European Tour announced the pair will headline the Rolex Series event from January 21-24 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the first tournament of the 2021 Race to Dubai schedule.

McIlroy has an incredible record at the event, with four runner-up finishes and four third-place finishes in his 11 appearances, with the Northern Irishman excited to return for the first time since 2018 to try and making a winning start to the new season.

Rory McIlroy finished runner-up four times in a five-year stretch between 2011 and 2015

Rory McIlroy finished runner-up four times in a five-year stretch between 2011 and 2015

“I’m looking forward to coming back to Abu Dhabi,” McIlroy said in a statement. “It’s always a great event for the players and it’s the perfect place for me to start the 2021 season.

“Abu Dhabi Golf Club is a world-class golf course, one that I have come close to winning on several times over the years, so hopefully I can do well again and be right up there contending come Sunday.”

2021 Race to Dubai schedule

A list of every event on the European Tour’s 2021 schedule.

Thomas’ appearance will be his debut in the Middle East and just his fourth start in a regular European Tour event, having previously played the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, 2018 Open de France and 2019 Scottish Open.

“I’m excited to play for the first time in Abu Dhabi,” said Thomas. “I’ve heard really great things about the course and with it being the first Rolex Series tournament of the year, I’m sure it is going to deliver a strong field.

Justin Thomas won the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in August

Justin Thomas won the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in August

“I enjoy new challenges, I like playing different golf courses around the world, and competing against the best players in the game, so of course I have my eye on trying to take home the Falcon Trophy.”

A star-studded field is expected in Abu Dhabi, where new Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood will return as defending champion after claiming a 25th European Tour title in the 2020 contest.

Watch the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship live from January 21-24 on Sky Sports Golf!


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