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Monday, 23 January 2012

DID YOU KNOW -  ABU DHABI HSBC GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

• The field for the 2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is the strongest in the events history, with 12 Major Champions competing and a total of 97 European Tour winners in all. The top four players in the Official World Golf Ranking are competing and six of the top ten.

• Defending champion, Martin Kaymer will be aiming to win the event for the third consecutive season.  Should he do so, he would join a select band of players to win the same official European Tour event three years in succession. The other players to achieve this feat are: Ian Woosnam (1990-92 Monte Carlo Open), Sir Nick Faldo (1991-93 Irish Open), Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000 PGA Championship), Ernie Els (2002-04 Heineken Classic) and Tiger Woods (2005-07 WGC – Cadillac Championship and WGC – Bridgestone Invitational).

• The German has already won in Abu Dhabi in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Should he win for a fourth time, he would join an elite group of players to win the same official European Tour tournament four or more times. They are: Tiger Woods – seven wins in the WGC –Bridgestone Invitational and six times at the WGC – Cadillac Championship. Five times – Tom Watson at The Open Championship and Bernhard Langer in the German Open. Four times – Seve Ballesteros in the Alstom Open de France, Sir Nick Faldo, at the PGA Championship, Langer at the German Masters and Woods at the US PGA Championship.

• Martin Kaymer has a wonderful record at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Apart from his three triumphs he was runner-up in 2009. He made his debut in 2007 and has played a total of 18 rounds, with a stroke average of 67.55. From those 18 rounds he is a total of 80 under par with 16 of those rounds under par and 15 in the 60s, including his last 12 consecutive.

• Tiger Woods is making his debut in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The American has a formidable record in the only other Desert event he has played in. The former World Number One, has competed in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic six times, winning the event in 2006 and 2008. Has only finished outside the top five once, that was 2011, where he tied for 20th.

• South African, Branden Grace is bidding to win his third consecutive European Tour title, after claiming the Joburg Open and Volvo Golf Champions. Should he win in Abu Dhabi, he would become just the third player in European Tour history to win three successive European Tour events. He would follow: Sir Nick Faldo (1983 – French Open, Martini International and Car Care Plan International); and Seve Ballesteros (1986 – Irish Open, Monte Carlo Open and French Open).

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1ROCK, RobertENG18-13
2MCILROY, RoryNIR18-12
T3MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-11
T3BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-11
T3WOODS, TigerUSA18-11
T6MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-10
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