Category: Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

January 21, 2013

Inside the Numbers: 2013 Humana Challenge and Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Posted at 11:41 AM by Sal Johnson

P1-TigerWith his win at the Humana, Brian Gay moved up 180 spots in the World Ranking, to 116th from 296th.

Gay is known for hitting it straight and scrambling, and last week was no exception. He was tied for second in driving accuracy, hitting 44 of 56 fairways, and fourth in scrambling, getting up and down on 10 of 12 greens missed. He hit 60 of 72 greens for the week and dominated the par 4s, playing them in 14 under.

This was Gay's fourth career win; he led going into the final round for the other three, but this week he began the final round six shots back.

In 2012, seven players came from six or more shots back in the final round. Kyle Stanley (8 shots, Waste Management Phoenix Open), Brandt Snedeker (7, Farmers Insurance Open), John Huh (7, Mayakoba Golf Classic), Tommy Gainey (7, McGladrey Classic), Phil Mickelson (6, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am), Marc Leishman (6, Travelers Championship), Ernie Els (6, British Open).

Brian Gay shot 63 on Sunday, one of the best rounds of his career. In 432 events and 1382 rounds, his best rounds were 62 in the fifth round of the 2011 Bob Hope (T5) and 62 in the third round of the 2008 Mayakoba Classic (W).

His best fourth rounds were:
63: 2013 Humana Challenge (W)
63: 2009 Bob Hope Chrysler (T19)
63: 2010 Byron Nelson (T2)

Charles Howell has won $24.6 million with only two career victories. Since his last win at the 2007 Nissan Open, he has played in 171 events with earnings of $11.1 million and no victories.

Of the top 38 players on the career money list, Howell has the fewest wins. Of the top 100 in career earnings, only eight players have fewer wins. Briny Baird (99th) has never won, and these players have just one win: Tim Clark (39th), Bo Van Pelt (50th), Kevin Sutherland (65th), John Senden (66th), Pat Perez (89th), Kevin Na (90th) and Fredrik Jacobson (92nd).

Howell has 14 runner-up finishes and 62 top-10 finishes in his 13-year career of 366 events.

Rookie David Lingmerth finished second in his second PGA Tour event, getting knocked out of the playoff with a bogey on the first extra hole. Since 1970, only Anthony Kim has earned a runner-up finish faster. He tied for second in his first tournament, the 2006 Valero Texas Open. Nathan Green also tied for second in his second tournament, losing a playoff at the 2006 Buick Invitational.

Since turning pro in 1996, Tiger Woods has played in a total of 301 PGA Tour and European Tour events, only missing the cut in nine PGA Tour events and just once on the European Tour, last week in Abu Dhabi.

Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson and Steve Stricker have played with Tiger twice in events in which he has either missed the cut or withdrawn.

This was the first week that Rory McIlroy missed the cut in an event where Tiger Woods also missed the cut. (McIlroy did miss cut at 2010 Players, when Woods withdrew.)

(Photo: Kamran Jebreili / AP)

January 18, 2013

Tiger Woods misses cut in Abu Dhabi after penalty; Rory McIlroy bags Nike putter

Posted at 9:54 AM by

Tiger_rory_abuTiger Woods and Rory McIlroy walked off the 18th green in Abu Dhabi on Friday (Getty Images).

Despite collecting sizeable appearance fees, tournament headliners Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Friday.

Woods had the more dramatic round on Friday; he thought he was safely inside the cut line after firing a one-over 73 with four birdies on the back nine. However, after the round Woods was penalized two shots for taking an incorrect drop on the fifth hole, leaving him on the wrong side of the cut at three over.

By contrast, McIlroy never got anything going, following his Thursday 75 with another 75 on Friday to finish at six over. The most interesting thing about McIlroy's round wasn't his game, but his equipment. After praising his new Nike Method putter earlier in the week when he announced his Nike endorsement deal, McIlroy switched back to his Scotty Cameron putter Friday.

Woods's rules snafu happened when he drove his ball right of the fairway on the par-4 fifth hole and took a free drop because his ball was embedded. According to European Tour referee Andy McFee, Woods was not entitled to a free drop because his ball was in a sandy area of the course. McFee said that Woods would have been entitled to the free drop if his ball had been embedded in a closely mown area of the course, but that the rule specifically does not allow for free drops when the ball is embedded in a sandy area. The area right of the fifth fairway is covered in vegetation but has a sandy base.

Woods will make his PGA Tour season debut next week at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he's won seven times, including his legendary 2008 U.S. Open win. McIlroy is not expected to play again until the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson on Feb. 20.

Justin Rose leads the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at eight under.

RELATED PHOTOS: Tiger and Rory in Abu Dhabi

RELATED PHOTOS: Classic pictures of Tiger Woods

RELATED PHOTOS: McIlroy's career in pictures

January 17, 2013

VIDEO: Watch Tiger Woods hit a smother-hook drive in Round 1 at Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

Posted at 10:21 AM by

Tiger Woods shot an even-par 72 on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, but his opening round was anything but steady. Here, Woods hits a badly topped drive on the first hole (Woods' 10th of the day) that settled about 50 yards short of the fairway. Woods went on to bogey the hole.

RELATED PHOTOS: Tiger and Rory's Head-to-Head Battles
RELATED PHOTOS: Tiger Woods career in photos

January 16, 2013

Watch Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy live in Abu Dhabi

Posted at 1:41 PM by

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi (Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are kicking off their 2013 seasons this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Abu Dhabi is nine hours ahead of the East Coast of the U.S., so you'll have to seek out Golf Channel at some odd hours if you want to watch live. Below is the broadcast schedule (all times Eastern ).

Wednesday, January 16: Golf Channel 10:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. (continues on Thursday)

Thursday, January 17: Golf Channel 12:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Friday, January 18: Golf Channel 2:30 - 8:00 a.m.

Saturday, January 19: Golf Channel 4:00 - 8:00 a.m.

Sunday, January 20: Golf Channel 4:00 - 8:00 a.m.

January 15, 2013

Tiger Woods talks about 'rivalry' and Rory McIlroy's switch to Nike

Posted at 1:30 PM by Mike Walker

Tiger_roryTiger Woods and Rory McIlroy during a photo appearance in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are friends, sometime opponents, and now colleagues on the Nike Golf Staff, but they don't have a rivalry, not yet anyway, according to Woods.

At his press conference for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Tuesday, Woods said he agreed with McIlroy that the two have not faced off enough to create a true rivalry.

"It would be very similar to saying that I had a rivalry with Phil two years into my career," Woods said. "That wasn't the case."

So whom does Woods consider his rivals? Vijay Singh and Ernie Els.

"I've gone head-to-head against I think Ernie and Vijay the most over the course of my career," Woods said. "It takes time."

But if the clashes between him and McIlroy last year at the Honda Classic and the BMW Championship (both won by McIlroy) don't constitute a rivalry, Woods said it has been the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

"We've just had a good time, certainly give each other the needle quite a bit," Woods said. "That's always fun. And that's about it, and as far as advice or anything like that, no. He's got a great head on his shoulders and really understands, so if he ever needs any advice, then certainly he's more than -- he knows I'm open to it. I think our friendship certainly is growing and it's been fun."

Woods also fielded several questions about McIlroy's move to Nike. When asked if he was involved in bringing McIlroy onto the staff, Woods said: "No, that's his decision. He's a big boy. He can figure it out on his own." Asked if they'd be practicing together more in the Palm Beach area, where they both live, Woods said: "He does play out there at The Bear's Club, and I play up at Medalist quite a bit. Maybe he'll come up or I'll go down there ...I'm sure we'll have a few dinners together and certainly hang out a bit more."

It's clear that Woods sees a lot of himself in the 23-year-old McIlroy, especially the growing pains of experiencing phenomenal success at a young age. Sometimes, Woods sounds like he's talking about his younger self when he talks about McIlroy.

"It's tough sometimes, it really is," Woods said. "When you have success, there are more responsibilities that are at a tournament site and more distractions that are at a tournament site that are taking you away from what you like to do, which is compete and play.

"That's something that certainly he has learned and he's figured out and I think that was a big adjustment that he made this past summer, and consequently, he had a huge end of the year," Woods continued. "I think that was a good sign."

Talking about McIlroy even got Woods to engage in a little psychoanalysis, surely a press conference first for him.

Q. Just back to that chemistry between you and Rory, we have always had this perception of you as a guy who leaves nothing to chance, and we have seen Rory very laid back, almost missed his Ryder Cup time, wondering if you've been in that similar position ... is that what helps your friendship?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I'd be psychoanalyzing that a little bit, but --

Q. Go ahead.

TIGER WOODS: I like Rory as a person. He's a really nice kid. I think all of you guys are aware of that.

As far as being in a position like that, that he experienced at The Ryder Cup, I missed a tee time in a junior event, and I called in for my tee time, it was a two-day event and I called it in and I said, "Woods." And they gave me my tee time. Evidently, there was another Woods playing, as well. Actually it was Steve Woods. He played at San Jose State, but he was in the event, as well, and they gave me his time.

So I missed my tee time. I showed up at his time, and that was the only time I have ever been in a situation like, that and I vowed it would never happen again, because that was a pretty empty feeling knowing that all I had to do was give a little bit more detail, my first name, and all I had to do was -- it cost me a chance of winning a golf tournament, and that's I pretty empty feeling.

Last year, both Woods and McIlroy were in contention on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, but like what often happens when Woods and Mickelson are near the top of the leaderboard at the same event, someone else won (Robert Rock). However, Woods turned this solid beginning last year into a three-win season. He said he's hoping to do the same here and at Torrey Pines next week.

"As far as any statement, I just want to get off to a good start," Woods said. "I think it's important that I get off to a good, solid start. I'm playing two weeks in a row, and I had a nice break and have geared up for these two weeks and have tried to get mentally and physically ready for these two tournaments."

January 13, 2013

Nike expected to announce Rory McIlroy deal on Monday

Posted at 8:42 AM by

Rory-McIlroy-1Rory McIlroy is set to start his first tournament of 2013 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship this week, but the much bigger beginning for the world's No. 1 player will be his debut with a new equipment sponsor. 

Rumors have been flying this offseason about McIlroy's next move, and all signs point to a massive new deal with Nike. McIlroy parted ways with Titleist and the Jumeirah hotel group, and another former sponsor, Oakley, is suing McIlroy and Nike. Some reports have estimated the deal to be worth as much as $250 million over 10 years, but the terms of the deal are not expected to be announced. 

Photos also surfaced last week of Nike clubs with "RORS" stamped on them. They were apparently taken at a course in Dubai, where McIlroy was practicing for this week's tournament. Tiger Woods, who has been the face of Nike Golf since signing with the company in 1996, is also playing in Abu Dhabi this week.

Nike told weeks ago that the company was planning a major announcement on Monday in Abu Dhabi, so stay tuned for more reports. 

PHOTOS: McIlroy's 2012 season | Career in photos
SHIPNUCK: McIlroy learning about life as golf's most marketable man | Video
SPECIAL SECTION: Rory McIlroy homepage

(Photo: David Cannon / Getty Images)

January 10, 2013

Tiger Woods 'not worth' $3 million appearance fee, says Qatar golf official

Posted at 1:25 PM by Mike Walker

Tiger_abudhabiTiger Woods in the final round of the 2012 HSBC Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship (Getty Images).

The organizer of the Qatar Masters said that Tiger Woods is not worth paying $3 million to compete in the European Tour event, according to the Doha News.

When it comes to spending money on sports, even Qatar has its limits.

During yesterday’s press conference about the upcoming Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, the president of the Qatar Golf Association minced no words in explaining, when asked, why former number one Tiger Woods would not be playing here.

“Tiger Woods demands $3 million just for an appearance, if he were to compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters -- which is not worth paying for a tournament of $2.5 million prize money,” Hassan al Nuaimi said.

Woods will be in the Middle East next week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates, and then will play the next week at Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego (Jan. 24-27).

According to Bloomberg News' Michael Buteau, Woods's agent said that Woods had never intended to play the Qatar event.

Mark Steinberg, Woods’s agent, said in an e-mail that the golfer “was never contemplating Qatar.”

Woods receives an appearance fee to play in Abu Dhabi; PGA Tour events do not offer appearance money.

RELATED: Tiger Woods career in photos | Tiger Woods SI covers | Tiger Woods homepage

January 09, 2013

Tiger Woods to start PGA Tour season at Torrey Pines

Posted at 5:51 PM by Mike Walker

Tw600Tiger Woods will begin his PGA Tour season at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, site of his historic 2008 U.S. Open win, after missing the event last year, according to a statement on

Woods will play his first event of the year next week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

"I'm excited to compete again," Woods said on his website. "I had a good break and went to see Stanford beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Hopefully my good practice sessions will carry over."

Last year, Woods skipped the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which he has won six times, due to a scheduling conflict with the Abu Dhabi event. Woods receives an appearance fee to play in Abu Dhabi; PGA Tour events do not offer appearance money.

"Obviously, I've had good success at Torrey Pines," Woods said. "I practically grew up playing the South and North Courses. The fans have always been supportive, and I look forward to returning."

Woods last played the Farmers Insurance Open in 2011, when he finished T44th.

RELATED: Tiger Woods career in photos | Tiger Woods SI covers | Tiger Woods homepage

(Photo: Robert Beck/SI)

October 17, 2012

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to start season in Abu Dhabi

Posted at 10:36 AM by Mark Dee

Tiger Woods won't wait long to return overseas.

After a relaxing week in Turkey at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals, Woods will open his season in Abu Dhabi, playing the HSBC Golf Championship from Jan. 17-20, according to the tournament's official website.

He'll be met there by an all-too familiar opponent: World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

Rory and Tiger finished second and third nine months ago, falling short of champion Robert Rock in a shootout.

“This will be the first time I have headed to Abu Dhabi as world number one, and I am determined to keep the wins coming and cement my ranking," McIlroy said in an interview published on the tournament website. "The strength of field means there will be a ton of world-ranking points on offer, so Abu Dhabi will be a really significant tournament that sets the tone for the year."

February 01, 2012

Stats Incredible! Inside the numbers at the Abu Dhabi Championship

Posted at 10:57 AM by



Number of greens Tiger missed in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He missed eight greens during the first 54 holes of the tournament.



Number of fairways Tiger Woods missed in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He missed 16 fairways in the first 54 holes of the tournament.



Number of putts Tiger took in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He had 35 putts in the first round.




Number of players who have started the final round of a tournament on either the PGA Tour or European Tour paired with Tiger and have gone on to win the tournament. Robert Rock is the newest member of the club.




Spots in the Official World Golf Ranking that Robert Rock moved up after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. He is now ranked 55th and if he doesn’t fall back in the next two weeks, he will get a spot in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Rock is also within reach of the top 50 and a Masters invite with another great finish.




Amount Robert Rock paid for his Newark-to-Washington D.C. cab ride to the 2011 U.S. Open because he had last-minute visa problems. (Rock is English.) He finished T23 in the tournament.




Number of European Tour events Robert Rock has played. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship was his second win. He also won the BMW Italian Open in 2011.


--Compiled by Sal Johnson

(Photo: AP)

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