SCHWARTZEL AND DAY LEADING SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE CHARGE
24 - January 2012
January 24, 2012 – Abu Dhabi, UAE: South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel and Australia’s Jason Day are looking to end six years of Northern Hemisphere dominance at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, having finished first and second, respectively, at last year’s US Masters,.
The Championship, which starts on Thursday and runs until Sunday, has never been claimed by a player from a nation south of the equator, with American Chris DiMarco (2006), Englishman Paul Casey (2007, 2009) and German Martin Kaymer (2008, 2010, 2011) sharing previous spoils on Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National Course.
Now, with arguably the strongest field ever assembled for a Middle East tournament, the young, Abu Dhabi-bound duo have declared their intent to enter the $2.7 million event’s history books by becoming the first Southern Hemisphere player to win the ‘Falcon’ trophy.
“A lot of the top players in the field are from the Northern Hemisphere, with many lining up for their first tournament of the season - they’ll be fresh and ready to go,” said Schwartzel. “We’ll need to be playing well to end the northern guys’ victory run, but we’ve got plenty of talent and we’re confident a Southern Hemisphere player can win in Abu Dhabi.”
If they are to have their name etched onto the ‘Falcon’ trophy, Schwartzel and Day will have to stop Kaymer, the tournament’s defending and triple champion, from claiming title number four in Abu Dhabi. Other contenders include: Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, the world’s top three ranked players, as well as Abu Dhabi debutant, Tiger Woods.
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 HSBC: 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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