Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Abu Dhabi GC in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Used since 2006 edition

7,583 yards – Par 72 – Tifdwarf Bermuda Greens
Fairways and Rough: Overseeded Rye
Architect: Peter Harradine (1998)
Water hazards on 10 holes

Important Interview Quotes

Q. Some of the American players have come here and played well straightaway, Rickie in particular, Dustin, Tiger before him. Are there characteristics of this course that remind you of any place back home?
Tough to say from an exactly out. Certainly characteristic of desert courses back home, just with fairways and then waste areas. But the exact strategic layout of the golf course, with only 27 holes under my belt, I’m having a hard time saying it reminds me of TPC Summerlin or any course like that. It’s got the bermudagrass greens which certainly makes me feel at home being a southerner. We see a lot of that in Florida and Georgia.

I find that the test of golf, you really have to drive the ball well. I’ve always watched on TV and then talked to a number of the guys about the course coming over here, and they they had I would really enjoy it; you have to drive it well. Rough is penalising, fairways are pretty tight, and so I’ve enjoyed trying to figure the course out from kind of the strategy of where to hit drivers, what lines to take, how much to challenge some of the bunkers. -2018

Q. Was it a course that suited your eye when you first saw it? Wondered, as well, what you made of the clubhouse?
Clubhouse is spectacular. Never seen one quite like it before. The course, it’s a challenging driving golf course. I think trying to figure out the lines. There’s so many different doglegs and carries and different bunkers to try to challenge or not challenge that I still feel like I may be learning exactly what lines to take and how much to try to bite off on some of the dogleg holes. -2018

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I felt like this golf course suits me pretty well and I like the setup of it. Last year was the first time being here, obviously playing four rounds in the tournament definitely helps. This year, I know the course a little bit better, so we’ll see. Hopefully I can play as well as I did in Hawaii. -2018

Q. Your thoughts on the course this week and particularly the par 5s, just one eagle the first three days. Wondered your thoughts on those and the course this week?
Yeah, I mean, the golf course here is very good. It’s in good shape. Actually the fairways are probably a little bit softer this year than they were last year when I played. Same with the greens. Maybe a little bit, just a little bit. You know, the par 5s, it’s kind of, they are not real easy because they are fairly long, but dependent on the wind, I can reach them if I hit good tee balls. -2018

Q. You played well around here in previous years. Has the course changed much? How is it this week?
Feels a little different. Maybe a little less rough in terms of the height. You can get a lot of longer clubs — hole No. 8, in the left rough, you could advance it quite a long way down there, which was a tricky spot to get out of in the past. Then the greens seem just a little bit softer, even though it was in the afternoon, was certainly able to stop the ball. So maybe not quite as tough as we’ve seen it before but that will change over the weekend. -2018

Q. You’ve got good form around here you and came close when Rickie won. Is it a course that suits your game?
I would say so. Just suits my eye. Of course, the first event of the year, you want to start on a good note and we’ve all been practising a lot, everybody, but scored well today. -2018

Q. You’ve had success in the desert before, your last two wins coming in Dubai. What is it about the desert?
I wish I knew so I could use it somewhere else. I just think, sort of a little bit of wind, you can see the ball going a bit lower in the ground a bit more like what you do in Scotland. It’s a great place to come and play golf. The courses are excellent, as well. I feel very comfortable playing out here. -2018

Q. How does this week compare to previous years?
It’s playing a bit different I’d say. It’s not as firm and as fiery as it normally is. I think the greens are definitely a little softer and a bit slower than normal. You know, the rough is still thick but you get lies where you can get a club on it whereas in previous years it’s literally just been wedge, hack it out.

So I think the course setup is a lot better this year. When we miss fairways, you’re still able to go at the green but you still need to get the club on the ball. It’s still playing tough, as you can see, what, 6-under is leading, so it’s still got teeth to the course.

You still want to hit the right shots, keep the ball in the right spots, because above the hole downhill, downgrain on these greens, you can get some quite slick putts. Mine on the last, only from ten feet, got a good four or five feet past. You’ve got to be careful but overall very, very pleased to shoot bogey-free 5-under par. -2018