PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 golfer Gavin Green (pic) will be aiming to make his presence felt when he takes on a star-studded field at the European Tour’s season-opening Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates today.
The US$8mil (RM32.37mil) showpiece at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club stars as many as nine Major winners that include Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, American Justin Thomas, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, Germany’s Martin Kaymer, a three-time winner of the event and European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland.
Also in the 132-man field is reigning European Tour No. 1 Lee Westwood of England, who will be defending his title this week.
Gavin is no stranger to the tournament as this will be his third appearance in as many years.
And he’s certainly won’t be short in confidence either, having finished solid on both occasions.
Gavin came in tied-32nd in his debut and then improved it to tied-21st last year.
He compiled a 16-under total for the eight rounds played to date.
Gavin will be extra pumped up to do well as the Abu Dhabi Championship is one of four flagship events which form the Rolex Series this season, alongside the Scottish Open, BMW PGA Championship and season finale Tour Championship.
Apart from the minimum purse of US$8mil, each of these tournaments also offers at least two times more of the Race to Dubai points than any regular event in the schedule.
Gavin will tee off his fourth season on European Tour seeking to improve his career-best 52nd position last year.
After this week, Gavin is also bound for two more Middle East swing meets – the US$3.25mil (RM13.15mil) Omega Dubai Desert Classic (Jan 28-31) and US$3.5mil (RM14.37mil) Saudi International (Feb 4-7).