McIlroy & Woods to Square Off Again in Abu Dhabi


No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy and No. 2 Tiger Woods will compete again in the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The European Tour event will be held January 17-20, 2013, at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

"Confirming Rory and Tiger, the world's top two players and a duo with well-documented respect and admiration for each other's talents, represents a significant coup and demonstrates how far the championship has come in its relatively short history," said Faisal Al Sheikh, tournament organizer.

"Rory and Tiger are true giants of the game and represent only our opening salvo - we are actively working to bring another world-class field to Abu Dhabi and further player announcements will be made in coming weeks."

The 23-year-old McIlroy is looking forward to the tournament. "I've come close a few times in Abu Dhabi now - hopefully it's my turn," he said at a Wednesday press conference. "This will be the first time I've headed to Abu Dhabi as world No. 1 and I'm determined to keep the wins coming and cement my ranking. The strength of the field means there will be a ton of world ranking points on offer so Abu Dhabi will be a really significant tournament that sets the tone for the year.

"I had a great tussle with Tiger nine months ago and I'm sure he'll be in contention again," added the Northern Irishman, who finished second by a stroke to England's Robert Rock last year. "We've spent a lot of time playing together this year and it's always fun challenging the best. I've made no secret of the fact he's a hero of mine and there's nothing better than tussling with your heroes."

Woods ended up two strokes behind Rock in a tie for second with Graeme McDowell and Thomas Bjorn. "I had heard so much about Abu Dhabi in the past and I was very impressed by the crowds, the organization and the overall atmosphere," Woods said of last year's tournament, which attracted 82,000 spectators.

"I really enjoyed my time in Abu Dhabi and I wanted to return, particularly as I played well and came so close last year. I'd love nothing more than to win in January and start the season in the best possible way."

For more information about the championship or tickets, visit www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com.


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