Hatton, Fleetwood and Lowry aim to call on happy Abu Dhabi memories at Hero Cup

Hatton, Fleetwood and Lowry aim to call on happy Abu Dhabi memories at Hero Cup

Three former Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winners are looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National Course next week as part of the inaugural Hero Cup team event.

Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry, and Tommy Fleetwood all savoured success at Abu Dhabi Golf Club during its 16-year hosting of the DP World Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The tournament relocated to Yas Links last year, but a new team event will take place on the National Course from January 13-15.

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The Hero Cup pits two 10-player teams against each other, with Team Great Britain & Ireland captained by two-time Abu Dhabi champion Fleetwood and Team Continental Europe led by former Open champion Francesco Molinari. European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald was primarily responsible for selecting the 18 players.

The tournament will take place over three days with one session of fourballs on Friday, two sessions of foursomes on Saturday, and one session of singles matches will take place on Sunday. All 20 players will take part in each session.

Fleetwood, who secured successive Abu Dhabi titles in 2017 and 2018, will hope the success he has had on the course will provide an advantage to himself and Team GB&I at the Hero Cup.

“I feel very at home on the National Course,” said the Englishman, ranked 23rd in the Official World Golf Rankings. “The crowds help create a very special vibe too with a great mix of local support and fans from all around the world and of all ages. I’ve grown to love playing in Abu Dhabi and I think that shows in my results.”

Hatton was the last victor at Abu Dhabi Golf Club after a dominant performance saw the Englishman finish four shots clear in 2021 to secure a fourth Rolex Series triumph.

ABU DHABI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , JAN 21 – 2018 :- Tommy Fleetwood with the trophy after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship held at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in Abu Dhabi.  (Pawan Singh / The National) For Sports. Story by Paul Radley

Tommy Fleetwood won back-to-back Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship titles in 2017 and 2018. Pawan Singh / The National

“It was an amazing day,” said Hatton, the world No 26. “It was very special to win here at such an amazing tournament. I love starting my sea-son out here in the Middle East and it obviously holds a special place in my heart.”

Hatton will team up with another former champion of the first Rolex Series event of the season in the form of Lowry, who birdied the 72nd hole at the 2019 edition to seal a one-stroke triumph. The Irishman carried that form and confidence through to the summer and into his remarkable win at the Open Championship.

Shane Lowry won the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before going n to clinch his maiden major at The Open. Getty

Shane Lowry won the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before going n to clinch his maiden major at The Open. Getty

« I couldn’t really have envisaged what happened, » said Lowry on his 2019 season. « It was obviously really nice to get off to an unbelievable start in Abu Dhabi, winning one of the biggest events on Tour.

“Anybody who plays this game knows that a lot of it is built on confidence, a lot of form is built on confidence and that’s what I gained from here with my victory in 2019.”

Fans hoping to witness the drama live and to see who makes their claim for a spot in Rome can register for free general admission tickets via Ticketmaster.

Updated: January 08, 2023, 8:47 AM

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