Hatton joins Morikawa, McIlroy at the star-studded Abu Dhabi Champs; Shubhankar lone Indian

Abu Dhabi: The field for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship just got stronger with the confirmation of the defending champion Tyrrell Hatton who opens 2022 with the defence of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. He will be joined by a slew of Ryder Cup teammates. Joining him are former winners Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Lee Westwood at Yas Island for the opening Rolex Series event of the 2022 DP World Tour season, from January 20-23.

Rory McIlroy has already confirmed his participation. They will be  joined by Ryder Cup team-mates Viktor Hovland, Ian Poulter and Bernd Wiesberger and their 2020 Captain Padraig Harrington. Former Masters Champions Adam Scott and Danny Willett also return to the Emirate, with 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson looking to add another victory in the Desert to his impressive resume.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma, who opens his 2022 campaign on Asian Tour at the Singapore International, will then travel to Abu Dhabi for his first event of 2022 on European Tour.

Hatton became just the second player to claim four Rolex Series titles after a flawless performance in Abu Dhabi last year which saw him overturn the overnight lead of four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy to clinch a four-stroke victory.

As the World Number 22 defends the prestigious Falcon Trophy at Yas Links McIlroy will tee off his 2022 season and recently crowned DP World Tour Number One and two-time Major Champion Collin Morikawa will make his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship debut. McIlroy and Morikawa have already committed to back-to-back events in the UAE.

“Abu Dhabi was a crucial win for me in January,” said Hatton, a two-time Ryder Cup player. “It was my sixth Tour victory, and I was incredibly proud to join such an illustrious list of champions. It was without doubt the perfect start to my 2021 season.

Lowry added: “I’m really looking forward to starting my season in Abu Dhabi once again. I obviously have very fond memories of this event and there is always a great vibe as the year gets underway with great weather, a strong field and a lively atmosphere among the fans.”

“I can’t wait to get to Yas Links as it hosts the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the first time, said two-time Rolex Series winner Westwood. “It’s a course I really enjoy and hopefully that, along with the memories of my win in Abu Dhabi in 2020, can help me put in a strong performance and put myself in contention come Sunday.”

Scott, the 2013 Masters Tournament champion, has also confirmed his return to Abu Dhabi, making his first appearance at the tournament since 2008. The 41-year-old will tee it up in the 17th edition of the event as it moves to one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and entertainment destinations in Abu Dhabi.
The former World Number One is an 11-time Tour winner having claimed several titles in the Middle East and most recently securing the Australia PGA Championship, but his greatest victory so far came nine years ago at Augusta National. He birdied the 72nd hole to force a play-off with 2009 champion Angel Cabrera before birdieing the second extra hole to become the first Australian to wear the coveted Green Jacket.

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome back our defending champion Tyrrell Hatton, along with our most recent tournament winners Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Lee Westwood to the 17th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
First staged in 2006, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship has built a strong legacy in the Middle East, and the move to Yas Island highlights Abu Dhabi as an international sports hub. As well as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the season-ending F1 Championship and the Ultimate Fighting Championship are also taking residency at the world-class location.

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