Wednesday, 03 January 2007

Padraig Harrington, winner of The European Tour Order of Merit in 2006 and Paul Casey, named European Tour Golfer of the Year for 2006, have both confirmed their appearance in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 18-21, 2007.

The duo, both members of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup Team at The K Club last September, augment an already impressive international field which includes defending champion Chris DiMarco of the United States; World Number Six Retief Goosen of South Africa, Australasian Tour Order of Merit winner Nick O’Hern; and three other European Ryder Cup men, Sergio Garcia of Spain, Colin Montgomerie of Scotland and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

Harrington said: “I missed the inaugural event but the feedback from the professionals on Tour was that Abu Dhabi was a lush, green environment quite at odds with common perceptions of desert landscapes. Being from Ireland, I’m an outdoors man, and I can’t wait to see and experience the renowned hospitality and city for myself – it’ll be a great way to start the year.”
Casey commented: “I am really looking forward to Abu Dhabi. The inaugural Championship was fantastic and I am delighted to have the opportunity to improve on my finish of last year. A win in Abu Dhabi would be the perfect way to start 2007.

Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), welcomed the appearance of both players.

“Padraig has now won three Ryder Cups, over a dozen tournaments worldwide, and is widely recognised as being one of the game’s most consistent performers,” he said. “He is in that elite bracket of golfers who are recognised globally - his participation can only be a good thing for the regional game and promoting Abu Dhabi to the world.  He’s a great coup for the Championship.

“Paul has gained a considerable following on The European Tour and should attract a great deal of support from within the Emirates and the surrounding countries. The National Course will have been substantially upgraded by the time the Championship tees off and I am confident the changes we are making will allow spectators to see the full power of Paul, one of the game’s longest and most accurate hitters.”

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