McIlroy and world number 2 Collin Morikawa headline the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, the first DP World Tour event of 2022 and the first of five Rolex Series events; watch coverage of the featured group live Thursday from 3.30am on Sky Sports Golf

Last update: 01/20/22 05:55

Rory McIlroy targets first victory at HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship

Can Rory McIlroy finally win in Abu Dhabi after years of near failure? We take a look at some of the possible storylines to follow in the first DP World Tour event of the year.

The HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship is the first of back-to-back Rolex Series events and the start of a four-week “Middle East Swing”, with three of the world’s top 10 in action and the tournament taking place at Yas Links for the first time in its history.

Will McIlroy make his breakthrough in Abu Dhabi?

McIlroy’s record in Abu Dhabi is impressive to say the least, despite never having won the tournament, with the Northern Irishman having finished second four times and securing four other top-three finishes in his previous 11 appearances at the event.

McIlroy took second to Martin Kaymer in 2011 and lost by one shot to Robert Rock a year later, before finishing tied for second in 2014 and finishing second to Gary Stal in the 2015 contest.

Sky Sports will once again be the home of live golf in 2022, with all four men's majors and five women's majors, plus a record number of live action on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

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Sky Sports will once again be the home of live golf in 2022, with all four men’s majors and five women’s majors, plus a record number of live action on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

Sky Sports will once again be the home of live golf in 2022, with all four men’s majors and five women’s majors, plus a record number of live action on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

The quadruple major threatened a decisive win at last year’s event but failed to turn a 54-hole lead into a first Rolex Series victory, with a 72nd round finish seeing him slip in a share of third and five strokes behind tournament winner Tyrrell Hatton.

McIlroy hasn’t won on the DP World Tour since his WGC-HSBC Champions success in November 2019, but picked up two PGA Tour victories last year, with the 32-year-old feeling in an optimistic mood as he aims to win to start his 2022 campaign.

“I think every time you start for the first time in the year there is a surge of optimism, excitement and anticipation and even though this is entering my 15th or 16th year on the Tour , it’s no different,” McIlroy said during his Wednesday press conference. before the tournament. “You are eager to start the season, you want to start well.

Timetable GMT0330 Westwood, McIlroy, Hatton 0340 Scott, Wiesberger, Hojgaard

“Historically, after the break I had, it started pretty well. I just want to try and continue that trend. I also think what’s good is that we even have a little winter break. I don’t don’t feel as rusty as I did in previous years because I put the clubs away for maybe two weeks, but then I was playing and training so far.

“I just want to pick up where I left off at the end of last year. I felt like I turned a corner after the Ryder Cup and played some good golf during that time. I just want to try and keep doing what I’m doing with this and feel like I have some good thoughts with the swing, try to get the clubs that score as I can and go from there.”

Can Morikawa be more successful in the desert?

The world No. 2 makes the trip to the Middle East for back-to-back Rolex Series events, two months after becoming the first American winner of the Race to Dubai with victory at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Nick Dougherty and Andrew Coltart review the best of the action from the final round of the DP World Tour Championship in November 2021

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Nick Dougherty and Andrew Coltart review the best of the action from the final round of the DP World Tour Championship in November 2021

Nick Dougherty and Andrew Coltart review the best of the action from the final round of the DP World Tour Championship in November 2021

Morikawa’s win in Dubai was one of three wins last season, with the 24-year-old also claiming WGC-Workday Championship and Open titles, while the two-time Major champion continues to challenge Jon Rahm at the top of the world rankings. .

A fifth tie at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii this month continues a run where he has finished no worse than seventh in his last five world starts, with Morikawa able to move up to world number 1 for the first time with a big performance for his debut in Abu Dhabi.

DP World Tour Golf Live

January 20, 2022, 3:30 a.m.

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Morikawa needs a win this week to stand a chance of becoming the fastest player to reach No. 1 since Tiger Woods, and forces Rahm to finish outside the PGA Tour top seven at The American Express.

Will Hatton successfully defend his title?

Hatton recorded his sixth DP World Tour title and fourth Rolex Series victory at last year’s event, with a brilliant six under 66 on the final day pulling him out of the chasing pack and seeing him finish four shots ahead of closest challenger Jason Scrivener.

The highs and lows of the final day in Abu Dhabi, where Tyrrell Hatton produced another world-class performance to claim a four-stroke victory as McIlroy hesitated

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The highs and lows of the final day in Abu Dhabi, where Tyrrell Hatton produced another world-class performance to claim a four-stroke victory as McIlroy hesitated

The highs and lows of the final day in Abu Dhabi, where Tyrrell Hatton produced another world-class performance to claim a four-stroke victory as McIlroy hesitated

The Englishman added two more runners-up to an impressive 2021, finishing tied for second on the PGA Tour at the Palmetto Championship and finishing two strokes behind Danny Willett at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – an event he won twice.

Only two players have ever won back-to-back editions of the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, with Kaymer taking back-to-back victories in 2010 and 2011 and Tommy Fleetwood successfully defending his title in 2018. Will Hatton become the third?

How can I watch the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship?

Sky Sports will have extensive coverage from the first DP World Tour event of the year, with featured band coverage available for all four rounds of the tournament ahead of six hours of full action each day.

DP World Tour Golf Live

January 20, 2022, 7:00 a.m.

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Action from featured bands is live starting at 3:30 a.m. during the first two rounds and 5 a.m. on weekends, with main coverage starting at 7 a.m. each day.

The HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship is one of four golf tournaments live on Sky Sports this week, with The American Express, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions and the Latin American Amateur Championship also available.

Watch the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship this week live on Sky Sports Golf!

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