IN-FORM WESTWOOD HUNGRY FOR ABU DHABI SUCCESS
03 - January 2012
3rd January, 2012 – Abu Dhabi, UAE: Having ended last season with two imperious wins in three tournament starts, Lee Westwood, the former world number one and current world number two, is relishing the prospect of carrying his scintillating form into this month’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which runs January 26-29 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
The Englishman, currently enjoying a well-deserved winter break during the festive and New Year period, triumphed in last month’s inaugural Thailand Golf Championship in Bangkok only weeks after he successfully defended his Nedbank Golf Challenge title in Sun City, South Africa.
“What a way to go into my winter break; two wins in three starts including the best golf of my entire career - can’t be bad and the turkey tasted extra special this Christmas,” said the 38-year old, who was also awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last year. “These triumphs featured some of the best golf I have ever played in any of my 37 worldwide wins.”
With this year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship featuring arguably the strongest field ever assembled at a Middle East golf tournament, Westwood – whose best Abu Dhabi finish was tied-second in 2008 – will have to rekindle his end-of-year form if he is to scoop the US$2.7million event’s Falcon trophy.
Among the Nottingham-born power hitter’s competitors are defending champion and three-time winner, Martin Kaymer; Luke Donald, the world number one; three reigning Major winners in Charl Schwartzel (US Masters), Rory McIlroy (US Open) and Darren Clarke (British Open); Abu Dhabi debutant and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods; rising Australian star, Jason Day; Korean sensation, KJ Choi; two-time Abu Dhabi champion, Paul Casey; as well as Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority global golf ambassador Matteo Manassero.
“This will be the first time in 2012 you’ll see a field of this quality – so it’s the first chance to see how we are matching up in the new year,” said Westwood, whose electric form in Thailand – particularly on and around the greens, an area he has worked extensively to improve – resulted in a compelling seven-shot victory over Schwartzel. “It’s always rewarding to see hard work paying off and it certainly did before winter. I’m putting better, hitting it better, managing my game well; every aspect of it seems to be improving - hopefully I’ll keep up this form and confidence and head into Abu Dhabi and a new season with real impetus.”
Tickets for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship are available via the event’s official website, www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com, as well as online at www.timeouttickets.com and www.itptickets.com. Phone bookings can be made through the ITP toll-free hotline 800 4669, or for international visitors, +971 4 210 8943.
About ADTA: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has wide ranging responsibilities for managing and assisting the development of the emirate's tourism industry and the marketing and promotion of the emirate as a world-class destination of distinction. Its responsibilities include; destination marketing; infrastructure and product development and regulation and classification. A key role is to create synergy in the international promotion of Abu Dhabi through close co-ordination with the emirate's hotels, destination management companies, airlines and other public and private sector travel-related organisations.
About HBSC: HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to around 89 million customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking & Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,716bn at 30 September 2011, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
HSBC in the MENA Region: HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with operations in 14 countries. HSBC has branches and offices in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Algeria and the Palestinian Autonomous Area. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 40% shareholder of Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 60% shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited for wholesale and investment banking in the Kingdom. In Iraq, HSBC holds a majority shareholding in Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank. HSBC also maintains a representative office in Libya.
This presence, the widest coverage of any bank in the region, comprises some 285 branches and offices, and around 12,000 people. In the full year 2010, HSBC made a profit before tax of $892 million in the MENA region.
HSBC Golf Sponsorships: HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite. In addition to its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore as well as acting as a Patron of the Open Championship, HSBC has expanded its portfolio to include both the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and, as golf returns to the Olympic Games for Rio 2016, the HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup, the nation’s one genuinely global golf event.
However, underpinning those blue-riband events is a longer-term goal to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes. The world’s local bank is supporting the HSBC China Junior Golf Program - a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. This includes the HSBC-sponsored China National Junior Team, the HSBC China Junior Open and the HSBC National Junior Golf Championship: a year-long series of
tournaments designed to give China’s elite junior golfers the competitive platform they need to develop their game.
In Asia HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events and the HSBC Champions is the continent’s first World Golf Championships event and the region’s leading men’s tournament. Last year the then world-number-one Tiger Woods described it as “The crowning jewel of all of Asian golf.” Since its inception in 2005 the event has attracted world-class fields and its last two winners, in the form of Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, have highlighted its stature. Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington revealed that he believed creating the HSBC Champions was “a turning point for Asian golf”.
For more details on HSBC's golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com
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