Teeing off in 2006 and quickly becoming established as a favourite event for players and spectators alike, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is recognised as one of the biggest events on the European Tour, regularly attracting some of golf’s most famous names.
Since its inception by The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (ADTCA), it has been staged at the sublime Abu Dhabi Golf Club as part of the Tour’s Gulf Swing.
The Championship’s ongoing success is laying the foundations for Abu Dhabi’s emergence as an international golfing destination. Playing to a cumulative global television audience of 400 million, the championship is inextricably linked with the building of Abu Dhabi’s tourism profile as an international destination of distinction, and is integral in putting the emirate firmly on the international sporting map.
The Championship consistently attracts a world-class field of the game’s top international stars, including winners Chris DiMarco, Paul Casey, Martin Kaymer and Robert Rock. Even Tour legend Gary Player has joined the Abu Dhabi field. In 2012 the Championship field included the world's top four players, six of the world's top ten, three current holders of Major titles and 14-time Major winner, Tiger Woods, making his Abu Dhabi debut. The tremendous depth of field saw the Championship named by the Official Golf Rankings as the strongest ever field at a Middle East tournament.
In 2011, as part of a five-year partnership with HSBC, the world’s local bank, the event’s prize fund raised to US $2.7 million – an increase of US $500,000 – making it the richest purse of the Gulf Swing. The partnership ushered in a new era for the championship and golf in Abu Dhabi, and the ADTCA is committed to hosting the event’s most impressive playing field. The authority also plans to mount its most expansive spectator offering of improved facilities and attractions.
In 2012 the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship recorded its highest ever attendance figures, with more than 82,000 fans streaming through National Course gates over the event's four days.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club is a world-class sporting facility and demonstrates the UAE capital’s ability to build top-tier venues for renowned international events. With enhanced spectator platforms to promote true ‘up-close viewing’, a substantially expanded championship village with even more attractions, restaurants, cafes and competitions, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is one of the most fan-friendly competitions on the map.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson overhauled Justin Rose's two-stroke lead to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship by one shot. On an enthralling final day at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Donaldson had five birdies and did not drop a shot until the final hole, to finish on 14 under. That allowed Rose a chance to force a play-off but his birdie putt lipped out of the cup and a 71 was one too many. Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen had also missed a putt to take the event into a play-off and he shared second. Donaldson, 37, waited 11 years and 255 events to record his first European Tour victory last season at the Irish Open.