Our event of the day is the opening day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. This tournament is the first event in the Rolex Series, the elite eight-event competition that forms part of the European Tour. Tommy Fleetwood will look to record his third straight title at the competition. Fleetwood will be up against a talented pool of golfers, including four former world number ones. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship never fails to provide plenty of excitement, so be sure you don’t miss today’s action. The Rolex Series returns in style with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. A crowded field featuring some of the top golfers, both past and present, gather at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club for a chance to take away a cut of the 5000 points and $7 million on offer. Four former world number one players will tee off today. Martin Kaymer is a three-time time champion at the event and will look to join the elite list of eight golfers who have won a specific European Tour title four or more times. Kaymer won the tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011, setting the tournament record of 24 under par during his 2011 win. Abu Dhabi will be Kaymer’s first event since the finale of last season’s tour in Dubai where he finished 55th in a 60-man field. Brooks Koepka will be eager to reclaim the title of world number one that he recently lost to Justin Rose. Koepka finished 24th in his last outing, at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Dustin Johnson, who held the number one title for 64 consecutive weeks, comes to Abu Dhabi after a 4th place finish in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The last former number one coming to Abu Dhabi is Lee Westwood, whose win in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November marked his first European Tour win in over four years. Beyond the quartet of former number ones, the competition sees a number of other interesting players prepare to tee off. Tommy Fleetwood will look to win his third straight Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Fleetwood is in strong form, finishing no lower than 16th in his last eight starts. Elsewhere in the draw, Henrik Stenson tees off in his 14th Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Stenson has finished second twice and has won other championships hosted in Abu Dhabi. Perhaps fourteenth time’s the charm for the major-winning Swede. The 72-par event is the first of the European Tour’s ‘Desert Swing’ section of the yearly calendar. Abu Dubai is followed by the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the new Saudi International. Be sure you don’t miss the first day of this exciting tournament.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the FA Cup, where Southampton host Derby County at St. Mary’s Stadium. The two teams face off in a replay of their 3rd round fixture which ended in a 2-2 draw at Pride Park Stadium. Southampton have won their last ten FA Cup fixtures against lower-ranked opponents, last failing to progress in the competition against such an opponent in the 2007-08 competition. However, they are winless in their last five FA Cup games against the Rams. Meanwhile, Derby are winless in their last six games against Southampton. It was Derby that came back from a two goal deficit to force this replay so this is a match that you won’t want to miss. Elsewhere, in the NBA, the Boston Celtics host the Toronto Raptors at the TD Garden. In the NHL, the Ottawa Senators host the Colorado Avalanche at the Canadian Tire Centre. In snooker, the Dafabet Masters continues at Alexandra Palace. In tennis, the Australian Open continues with day 3 of the competition at Melbourne Park.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
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