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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Players to Watch


A latest yr on the DP World Tour brings latest hope for players who’ve been around long enough to know the way fickle and unforgiving the sport might be from week to week — shot to shot — even for the perfect on the earth.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which begins on Thursday at Yas Links within the United Arab Emirates, needs to be no different. Some in the sphere shall be in midseason form, while others will struggle, trying to find answers before one other season slips away.

Listed below are five players to look at.

Straka, 29, recorded his first PGA Tour victory on the Honda Classic last February and finished second on the Sanderson Farms Championship in October. Yet he also missed six cuts in a row in the course of last season and missed three straight in November.

His triumph on the Honda, wherein he rallied from a five-stroke deficit with a four-under 66 in the ultimate round, was the primary on tour for an Austrian-born player. He had entered the week ranked No. 176 on the earth.

Straka, who lived in Austria before moving to the state of Georgia when he was 14, may have something to play for besides himself this yr. He has a likelihood to be a member of Team Europe for the Ryder Cup matches in Rome.

He opened the yr by ending tied for twenty first on the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Stenson, who had been appointed Europe’s Ryder Cup captain in March, was removed in July after he joined the LIV Tour. Luke Donald was named as his substitute.

This shall be Stenson’s first appearance on the DP World Tour because the dismissal. He and the others who bolted for LIV have been allowed to take part in DP World Tour events pending the resolution of a court case.

Stenson, from Sweden, won his LIV debut on the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Latest Jersey by two strokes over Dustin Johnson and Matthew Wolff. He earned $4 million for the victory in July.

One in all Europe’s top players lately, Fleetwood has not won a tournament on the PGA Tour. Yet he fared well last yr in the key championships, signaling he might notch that first victory before too long.

Fleetwood, from England, missed the cut on the U.S. Open on the Country Club in Brookline, Mass., but tied for 14th on the Masters in Augusta, Ga., tied for fifth on the P.G.A. Championship in Tulsa, Okla., and tied for fourth on the British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland. Fleetwood, who turns 32 on Thursday, was one in all eight players to compile not less than two top-5 finishes within the majors.

Pieters, 30, from Belgium, was the winner in Abu Dhabi last yr — or, more precisely, the survivor.

During Friday’s second around the winds kicked as much as 40 miles per hour. Rory McIlroy summed up what number of players were little doubt feeling: “I’ve never been so glad to get off a golf course.”

Yet Pieters managed a two-over 74 that day to remain inside striking distance of the lead. He finished a stroke ahead of Rafa Cabrera Bello and Shubhankar Sharma. Pieters, who has been ranked in the highest 50 on the earth, has also endured his share of difficulties.

After winning three tournaments in Europe in 2015 and 2016, he went three years before he collected his fourth victory after which one other two years before he picked up his fifth, which got here within the 2021 Portugal Masters.

No wonder the triumph on Yas Links in 2022, his sixth, was so gratifying.

“I disappeared for a few years, I suppose,” Pieters said after winning the tournament. “I’m so completely happy to be back.”

In October, due to three straight rounds of 65, Power captured the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Per week later, he tied for third within the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba in Mexico. Then got here a tie for fifth on the RSM Classic in Georgia. Of the 12 rounds in those three events, he broke 70 on 11 occasions. The opposite round was a one-under 70.

Power, 35, from Ireland, attended East Tennessee State University where he won five tournaments including the Atlanta Sun Conference Championship twice.

The subsequent step for him is to be an actual think about the key championships. Power tied for ninth in last yr’s P.G.A. Championship and tied for twelfth on the U.S. Open.

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