Stenson to Begin 2014 Season in Abu Dhabi

Henrik Stenson will play his first tournament of 2014 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, tournament organisers have confirmed.

Stenson has a strong record in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) having won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last month to add to his titles at the 2006 Qatar Masters and the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic.

The World number three said on Tuesday: "2013 finished on a high in the UAE and it would be great if 2014 started on a high in the UAE. The country was a fantastic home for us for eight years and I've always enjoyed playing here."

Stenson may enjoy a great record in the UAE but the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is the title which is yet to be captured by the Swede. A runner-up place behind Chris DiMarco in 2006 and a tied for second finish alongside Lee Westwood in 2008 has left Stenson determined to make that final push for victory.

"There's a falcon-sized gap in my trophy cabinet that I'd dearly love to fill," Stenson admitted. "Not just because of the 2006 and 2008 near misses but so I can become the first player to complete the sweep of Gulf titles."

"The National course gets a bit tougher each year and the Championship has become one of the most coveted on the Tour, so it would be great to tee off the season in style here."

Stenson may be confident in his ability – and so he should – but he’ll be joining a star-studded field for the event which includes the likes of US Open Champion Justin Rose, Open Champion Phil Mickelson, two-time runner-up Rory McIlroy and former World Number 1 Luke Donald. And they’ll be joined by Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Matteo Manassero and Jamie Donaldson.

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