New York, NY (September 14, 2014) – Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy is set for a stunning return to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship where he has his sights focused on winning his first Falcon Trophy.
McIlroy, who has teed off his season in Abu Dhabi for the past seven years and has been a three-time runner up in the UAE capital, says he’d love to finally conquer the event during its 10 year anniversary celebrations. And with a recent stretch of success behind him that has brought two Major wins, McIlroy believes he can continue the scintillating form into his season opener in January at Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National course.
“Over the past few months I have been mentally strong and I feel very good about my game at the moment,” said McIlroy, who will attempt a career grand slam at Augusta in April next year. “Greatness in golf is winning Major Championships but after playing in Abu Dhabi for so many years and having come so close in the past, I would love nothing more than to win at the event’s 10 year anniversary. That would be something very special and would mean a lot to me.”
McIlroy has enjoyed an incredible run of form this summer, clinching three huge back-to-back events in the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship to revive his position as the world’s top golfer. And with the Ryder Cup only weeks away, McIlroy’s magic touch will be called upon again as Europe shapes up to attempt a third consecutive victory in one of the world’s greatest sporting contests
The 25-year-old, however, narrowly missed out on bagging his first Falcon Trophy in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, after suffering a two-shot penalty to lose the joint-lead at the end of day three. McIlroy eventually shared second place with Phil Mickelson as Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal kept his nerve and added his name to the Championship’s history books.
McIlroy has experienced his share of ups-and-downs on the challenging course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. With another two runner-up results in 2011 and 2012, and third place in 2010, the Ulsterman has come nail-bitingly close on several occasions. The exception came in 2013 where he and Tiger Woods unexpectedly failed to make the cut.
“Rory’s presence will add to what promises to be the Championship’s most exciting year yet as we look to assemble another amazing line-up of the world’s top players to celebrate our tenth anniversary,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which owns and organizes the Championship. “Abu Dhabi has come to mean a lot to the players over the years and we are so pleased to be welcoming Rory back for such an important milestone in the event’s history.”
HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events Giles Morgan said: “HSBC’s ambition is to open up the world of golf. That is exactly why we are involved in golf and in this tournament. I believe we are fulfilling our ambition in Abu Dhabi and by working closely with our partners and that this Championship has evolved into an unmissable event which appeals to absolutely everyone. The Championship brings together all the ingredients required to excite and attract families, avid golfers and those completely new to the game and with the world’s best player heading a world class field on a stunning course alongside a host of family-friendly activities and entertainment, everything is in place for a sensational start to the golfing year in Abu Dhabi. It’s a winning formula and one we are continuing to build upon as we look to celebrate the landmark achievement of the 10th anniversary tournament and five years of HSBC sponsorship.”
Adding to McIlroy’s special affinity with Abu Dhabi was the global announcement of his partnership with Nike on the eve of the Championship in January 2013.
Tailored package details for the 2015 Championship, which will be held from January 15-18, 2015, are available from Golf in Abu Dhabi. Championship packages include five nights’ accommodation in one of Abu Dhabi’s leading hotels, two rounds of golf on Abu Dhabi’s Championship courses, season passes to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, as well as an array of stunning tourism attractions. To top this off, all those who book packages will enjoy a complimentary clinic with a world top 30 player.
For more information about the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, please visit www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com. For more information about Abu Dhabi, please visit www.visitabudhabi.ae.
ABOUT ABU DHABI TOURISM & CULTURE AUTHORITY
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programs relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The authority supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honor the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.
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.
The HSBC Group
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 6,600 offices in 80 countries and territories in Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,723bn at 30 September 2013, the HSBC Group is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations.
HSBC in the MENA Region
HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organization 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 US$1,492 million in the MENA region.
HSBC Golf Sponsorships
HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite. HSBC is a Patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The Royal & Ancient creates a center of gravity to a global golf portfolio that spans HSBC’s key markets. In Asia HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events, with its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and was once described by 14 time Major winner and former World Number 1 Tiger Woods as “The crowning jewel of all of Asian golf.” HSBC has been co-title sponsor of The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship since 2010 and the event has quickly become one of the biggest events on the European PGA Tour calendar. As golf returns to the Olympic Games for Rio 2016, HSBC is presenting sponsor of the LPGA Brazil 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 programs. As well as committing to the professional game, HSBC has a longer-term goal to create the legacy through sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programs around the world. In China, HSBC supports 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 the UK HSBC is sponsor of HSBC Golf Roots – The Golf Foundation’s national development program which promotes the sport in schools, helps youngsters into clubs, and uses golf to promote important life skills such as honesty and respect.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 30 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include College, Media, IMG Academy, Events and Federations, Golf, Tennis, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; world-class partnerships with sponsors, brands and broadcasters; and marquee assets across entertainment, events and fashion.