Big things are expected of Jason Day this year and he will kick off his 2012 campaign along with season debuts by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Thursday.
The European Tour event boasts the current world top four, McIlroy at 3, Luke Donald (1), Lee Westwood (2) and Martin Kaymer (4).
Woods is rearing to go for the year and says he’s in his best physical shape at the start of a season in more than a decade.
Woods says he is fully recovered from his knee problems and his confidence has been boosted by a win at the limited-field Chevron World Challenge last month. This week in Abu Dhabi he also credited his form in Australia late last year as a turning point.
“I think Australia was pretty big for me to go down there for two weeks and play in that type of wind, and to hit the ball as well as I did,” he said.
Woods is teamed with Donald and McIlroy for the first two days of the event while Day will join British Open winner Darren Clarke and big hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros in the following group.
Live television coverage of the event begins on Thursday night on Fox Sports from 9pm to 1pm and continues at similar times over the four rounds.2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Leaderboard
Ogilvy leads Australian contingent at Torrey Pines
Meanwhile, Geoff Ogilvy will lead a 13 strong Australian contingent
Into the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
The Australian line-up includes Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Gavin Coles, Matthew Goggin, Nathan Green, Mark Leishman, Jarrod Lyle, Nick O’Hern, Rod Pampling and Matt Giles.
The tournament sees most of the usual US PGA Tour suspects getting back into action on the mainland for the first time in 2012, including the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney, Bill Haas, Camilo Villegas, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson, who may or may not turn up in his new Dukes of Hazzard muscle car. (Funny that, I picked him as a Toyota Prius or Mini Minor driver).
Ogilvy is another golfer confident of a good year.
“I think I could be coming into my prime,” the 34 year old said this week.
“Traditionally golfers become their best in their mid 30s. Hopefully I can have a healthy year as last year was a bit of an off year injury wise but there was a lot of good stuff amongst the bad. I think you learn more from your rough patches than your good ones so I should be a better player because of 2011.
“I think I have a better handle on golf then I ever have before and I have more tools now so hopefully that translates to better play.”
Live coverage of the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open begins Friday on Fox Sports 7am to 10am.2012 Farmers Insurance Open Leaderboard