Jan 12, 2020: Major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Danny Willett and rising star Viktor Hovland complete a world-class line up as the Hero Challenge arrives in Abu Dhabi for the first time, ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
They will join World Number One Brooks Koepka and European Tour stars Bernd Wiesberger and Matthew Fitzpatrick for the innovative shootout event at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit on Tuesday January 14, 2020.
Koepka is a four-time Major winner and World No. 1, while South African Oosthuizen boasts the 2010 Open Championship amongst his nine European Tour titles. Both are making their Hero Challenge debut as 5,000 fans watch six of golf’s biggest stars battle it out for the title in the exciting head-to-head format.
Koepka said, “The Hero Challenge will be a great way to start my first tournament week of the season and I’m looking forward to getting involved in the fun. I’m a competitive guy when it comes to most things thought and I’m sure this will be no different once we get going, and it’s pretty cool to have the chance to play golf at such an iconic location like Yas Marina.
He added, “It’s a spectacular place, especially when you see it on TV with the Formula One cars racing around, so I am sure it will be a fun night in Abu Dhabi.”
South African Oosthuizen boasts the 2010 Open Championship amongst his nine European Tour titles and will make his Hero Challenge debut as 5,000 fans watch six of golf’s biggest stars battle it out for the title in the exciting head-to-head format.
Oosthuizen said: “The Hero Challenge looks like a lot of fun, and especially this time round as we’ll be playing in such a cool location in Yas Marina. I can definitely say that it will be a first for me to play golf at a Formula One track and I’m looking forward to going up against the guys in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.”
Englishman Willett returns to the Hero Challenge after coming close to getting his hands on the trophy in the final edition of the 2019 season in Dubai last November. The 2016 Masters champion will arrive in Abu Dhabi looking to continue the form that saw him secure his seventh European Tour title – and his second on the Rolex Series – at last season’s BMW PGA Championship.
Hovland, the former World No. 1 amateur and now one of golf’s most promising young stars, and the 22 year old Norwegian is also making his Hero Challenge debut at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The former World Amateur Number One won the low amateur honours at both the Masters and the U.S. Open in 2019, before impressing on his first professional start on the European Tour with a tied 11th place finish at Wentworth.
After the opening event in Abu Dhabi, the Hero Challenge then moves to Europe for three more exciting editions, including the Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik and Annika in Stockholm, the Betfred British Masters, to be hosted by Lee Westwood at Close House in England, and the Porsche European Open in Hamburg. The series finale will take place ahead of the European Tour’s season-ending event in Dubai and will feature the winners of all four Hero Challenges from the 2020 campaign.
Hero MotoCorp, recently extended the Hero Challenge on the European Tour until 2022, with the number of annual events increasing from three to a series of five. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA hosts the first of 2020, with the series culminating in a final event featuring the previous four winners.
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA once again takes its place as part of the Rolex Series – the premium category of tournaments on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, each with a minimum prize fund of US$7 million.