Jan 15, 2020: It’s onwards and upwards for Shane Lowry after his marquee 2019 season, as he begins his title defence at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA – the first Rolex Series event of the 2020 Race to Dubai.
The Irishman won his first Rolex Series title at Abu Dhabi Golf Club 12 months ago and carried his form and confidence through to the summer, leading to a memorable maiden Major Championship victory at The Open, and his first multiple winning season.
With a Ryder Cup and the Olympics to come in 2020, there could be more firsts for Lowry and once again it all begins with the Rolex Series in Abu Dhabi, where he is aiming to emulate Tommy Fleetwood – the last man to win the title in consecutive seasons.
The Englishman’s victory at this event in 2017 proved to be the springboard that led to him winning the Race to Dubai at the end of the season, and his 2018 win in Abu Dhabi preceded his momentous Ryder Cup debut at Le Golf National.
His Ryder Cup teammate Sergio Garcia is vying for first wins on both the Rolex Series and at this event, as he returns to Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2014. The Spaniard has never finished outside of the top 20 in his six previous appearances at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and he knows the benefit of early season success in the desert, going on to win the Masters Tournament after his victory in Dubai in 2017.
Rising star Viktor Hovland got his week off to a great start with victory in the Hero Challenge on Tuesday, and he is another man with The Ryder Cup on his radar, as the 22-year-old Norwegian joins the stellar field in Abu Dhabi with the aim of converting his impressive amateur achievements into his first professional victory.