Four of the biggest names in golf took some time out from preparing for the tenth anniversary of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship today to soak up some stunning scenery at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

Perched on a jetty located within the course itself, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler looked relaxed as they kicked back and admired the surroundings of Arabia’s only true links course.

Nestled on the western shores of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s landmark entertainment destination, the course is set among rolling hills and mangrove plantations and boasts unforgettable coastline views of the Arabian Gulf.

“Over the years, I’ve gotten used to preparing myself for some of the most enjoyable, yet unexpected challenges in Abu Dhabi. It just gets better and better every year, it's a perfect place to start the season",” said McIlroy. “To be able to sit back and enjoy such a peaceful environment with friends and family has put me in the best spirits to come out fighting on Thursday.”

With just a day until the opening of the event’s tenth anniversary celebrations, one of the Championship’s greatest player line-ups ever has arrived in Abu Dhabi ready for a slice of the US $2.7 million prize purse, the biggest in the region. Not only are four of the world’s top 10 in the emirate, but a host of past champions have arrived looking for another Falcon Trophy at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

“It’s great to be finally starting my season in Abu Dhabi. I’ve heard so much about this Championship out on Tour and have been really looking forward to seeing it for myself. I’m having a great time here so far, from the amazing views at our hotel to the awesome scenery here on Yas Island” said Fowler.

Stenson added: “Having lived in the UAE for almost 10 years, I can already vouch for the fact that Abu Dhabi is home to some of the most impressive courses in the world – and today I was reminded of that, and truly proud to have called the UAE home.”

Rose said: “As golfers, we are lucky to travel the world, experiencing multiple cultures and iconic landmarks, but very rarely do we get to sit back and actually enjoy our surroundings. It was nice to have some time to sit back and have a laugh with friends whilst taking in Abu Dhabi’s beauty.”

The players also enjoyed a unique ‘pitch and paddle’ challenge on the beautiful waterways between the ninth and 18th holes of the course, where they took aim at targets on kayaks steered by their own caddies.

“We wanted to give the players a special glimpse into a different side of Abu Dhabi, where alongside the world-class golf courses and hotels, vibrant culture and wealth of entertainment, there is also beauty, peace and nature,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism for Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which presents the Championship. “Abu Dhabi offers something for everyone.”

The Championship’s ten-year anniversary celebrations will see a host of events and activities reflect on a decade of growth which has seen the event positioned as one of the European Tour’s biggest drawcards for the world’s top players to start their season.

Tickets and tailored packages for this year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship are available via the event’s official website – at AED50 for a daily pass and AED150 for a four-day pass.

Guests staying at any Abu Dhabi hotel over the Championship period enter free and all those who book packages will enjoy a complimentary clinic with a world top 30 player.

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