Thursday, January 12, 2006

Abu Dhabi is Stylin’ and Profilin’
Part II of II

The Championship Edition

The Abu Dhabi Championship is less than a week away, and I’m soiled in anticipation. For some reason, I have been really getting excited over the European Tour as of late. I apologize that I really have not commented on the Mercedes Championships or the Sony Open these past two weeks.

In any event, the European Tour along with a few of their PGA Tour counterparts will be descending into the emirate of Abu Dhabi within a weeks time to get geared up for the inaugural event of the Abu Dhabi Championship which is taking place at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 19th -22nd.

The course itself was designed by Peter Harradine, a renowned Swiss golf course architect, who started groundwork on the course in 1992. Harradine has also designed several other courses in nearby emirate of Dubai as well.

The field includes 112 EU players along with 8 invitees. Even some of the PGA tours’ standout players will be foregoing the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic next weekend in order to attend this new tournament. Vijay Singh, Chris DiMarco, John Daly (who is making his first trip to the Middle East), Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter all top the list of competitors who will be mounting campaigns to capture this new title for the first time. With total purse of $2 million U.S. on the line, it promises to be a strong tournament.

Luckily, for all the players who are in attendance, they will be shacked up in some rather ritzy digs at the 7star Emirates Palace Hotel. That’s right, you read it correctly, 7stars. And you thought 5stars was fancy.

IMG, the impenetrable world leader in sports and lifestyle management, referred to as “The Man” by all the other sports management firms, was hired by the emirates’ department of tourism to manage and stage the event. To IMG, this championship is just another walk in the park, practically. You see, IMG is not just a sports management firm with over 2,200 people on staff in over 25 countries. It also has a T.V. division which happens to be the largest independent distributor of televised sports. Putting on golf events for 4 decades now, IMG currently has over 20 professional golf tournaments in ten different countries which they are solely responsible for.

The director General of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Mr. Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi voiced his anticipation by stating, “We are delighted to have IMG as our partners in the organization of the Championship and we believe that the international publicity that the Championship will generate will be a vital step in establishing Abu Dhabi as a top class international golfing resort.”

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