Top trio returns to Abu Dhabi
Last updated: 13th August 2013
Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Luke Donald have all confirmed their participation in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which takes place in January next year.
Joining the three players in the top 10 are defending champion Jamie Donaldson as well as rising star Matteo Manassero, who is currently the world number 28.
McIlroy is a two-time runner-up in Abu Dhabi and will hope to regain some of the form he lost during a trying 2013 season at the Emirate.
"It's been an up-and-down year but my game is going in the right direction and I feel like I'm nearly there again," McIlroy said after tying for eighth place at last weekend's PGA Championship.
"I've shown good form in the past in Abu Dhabi and I've always enjoyed playing the National Course. It's a great venue that always draws big crowds, so hopefully I can give them more to cheer about next season.
"I was very disappointed to miss the cut in January but I've been close to that trophy a few times.
Rose, who finished in a tie for second place behind Donaldson last year, heads to Abu Dhabi as a major champion that has previously excelled in all the tournaments hosted in the UAE.
Apart from his second place last year, the world number five also finished as the runner-up at the DP World Championship in Dubai.
"You always remember your first tournaments in new places and Abu Dhabi is no different," said Rose.
"I remember coming up the last knowing I had a real chance to win the trophy. It wasn't to be yet from what I gather, my putt lipping out is pretty typical of the drama that unfolds every year in Abu Dhabi.
"Everything in life happens for a reason and that disappointment deepened my resolve to make sure my season didn't develop into a series of near-misses.
"Thankfully, the opposite happened and the US Open was obviously life-changing. It's important to keep progressing and I want to start next season with the same sort of purpose I did this year - Abu Dhabi is key to that."
Donald is a former world number one who became the first player ever to top both the European and PGA Tour money lists.
The Englishman is hopeful that a strong performance in Abu Dhabi next year will help him regain the form that saw him dominate the circuit on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011.
"Abu Dhabi is a huge stage where the world's very best players are all looking to start a fresh season with victory," Donald said.
"The size and scope of the tournament creates real early season buzz and there's always a genuine sense of anticipation as everybody guesses over who'll find their form first - it's fantastic to be a part of that.
"My aim for Abu Dhabi is the same as always: be in contention and, if the putts roll in, win," he added. "I've been more diligent with my preparations recently, working on my putting and harnessing the shots that I know need some attention. I'm definitely moving forward with my game and I have a good feeling about the progress I'm making."
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which this week hosts the Nelson Mandela Championship for the first time, boasts two unique Championship golf courses.
the annual venue for the Nedbank Golf Challenge is ranked in the top 60 in the world and in the top two in South Africa.
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