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No Rory McIlroy but plenty of quality in Abu Dhabi this weekend

| 18.01.2017

The European Tour moves on to Abu Dhabi this weekend, with the HSBC Golf Championship, but all the talk will be of the man who isn’t in attendance.

Four-time runner-up Rory McIlroy pulled out of the tournament earlier this week due to a rib stress fracture.

It’s not known how long the Northern Irishman will be out for, but reports indicate it could be as long as six weeks, putting Rory’s Masters preparation firmly on the back foot.

But back in the Middle East and many of the world’s finest are ready to take to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club course.

At 7,583 yards, the course is the 5th longest on the entire tour, so it’s no surprise that Dustin Johnson is up there in the betting at 13/2.

Having landed his first Major last year, DJ has erased the question marks over his short game, and could be set for his best year on Tour yet.

But the form man is arguably Henrik Stenson. After landing his first Major success at the Open, the Swede also bagged silver at the Olympics in Rio, and was third here last year.

The 40-year-old is 6/1, and alongside Johnson, are the two clear favourites.

Reigning champ Rickie Fowler is the only other player shorter than 20s, with the 28-year-old 12/1 to retain his title.

Tyrrell Hatton is a man quickly becoming a regular the sharp end on Sundays, and plenty will fancy the 25-year-old to maintain his excellent form in the second-half of 2016 at 28/1.

Masters champion Danny Willett is 40/1 to kick-start his year with a win, with fellow Brit Andy Sullivan at 50s.

But while the action takes place in Abu Dhabi this weekend, everyone will be wondering exactly how long Rory is set to be out for, and what this might mean for his Masters hopes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.