Spieth and McIlroy face off in Abu Dhabi

2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship: Leaderboard: TV Times

Rory McIlroy BO 2014

JORDAN Spieth and Rory McIlroy go head to head for the first time in 2016 this week at a much anticipated Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The world No.1 and No.3 are both coming off wins and will be eager to get their growing rivalry off to a healthy start in the new year.

Missing from the European Tour event is world No.2 Jason Day but the quality field does include No.5 Henrik Stenson and No.6 Rickie Fowler, who will play in a very watchable three-ball with the top two in the opening rounds.

McIlroy hasn’t played since winning the World Tour Championship to clinch the European Tour’s Race to Dubai in November and has also had laser eye surgery in the meantime which he believes will enhance his short game.

“I don’t play the game on (laying down) markers at all,” said McIlroy, putting the two person rivalry stories into perspective. “I want to play my best, and I don’t have to just beat Jordan Spieth this week. I have to beat another 142 guys.”

Impressively for an American world No.1, Spieth has been on something of a world tour in recent months.

Since competing in the Presidents Cup in Korea in October he has played in Australia, the Bahamas and Hawaii and next week tees up in the Singapore Open.

This week in the Middle East is his first regular European Tour event appearance.

“Last year, I kind of wanted more of a break. This year I kind of wanted to go out and take advantage of the year and see places that I had never seen before, on and off the course,” the 22 year old said. Spieth is fresh from his eight stroke win at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Holman leads Aussie contingent

Reigning Australian PGA Champion Nathan Holman joins an Aussie contingent that includes Richard Green, Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend, Brett Rumford, Wade Ormsby and Andrew Dodt.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship has A$3.6 million up for graps and is the first leg of a three week Desert Swing that includes the Qatar Masters and Dubai Desert Classic.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship TV Times

Live Coverage on Fox Sports. Coverage begins Thursday 2pm – 7.30pm. (Check up to date guides as the Fox Sports guide is unreliable).

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Leaderboard

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Leaderboard
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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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