The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA has been elevated to Rolex Series status on the European Tour.
The tournament, taking place at Abu Dhabi Golf Club next year from January 16-19, will for the 2019 season take up one of the eight slots on the series, with its purse rising from $3 million (Dh 11 million) this year to $7 million.
Introduced on the European Tour last year, the Rolex Series offers increased prize funds and enhanced Race to Dubai points in a design to attract greater fields.
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship’s new standing means the series will be bookended by events in the UAE, with the DP World Tour Championship at Dubai’s Jumeirah Gulf Estates marking the conclusion to the season-long Race to Dubai.
“We are honoured to become one of the elite Rolex Series events and to see our tournament so publicly recognised as one of the world’s leading golf tournaments,” said Aref Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, on Monday.
“This news highlights our important relationship with the European Tour, one of the world’s leading golf organisations, as well as being an important milestone to celebrate with our valued title sponsors HSBC and our partners Rolex and the EGA. Abu Dhabi is ‘A Global Capital of World Sport’ and the international recognition that becoming a Rolex Series event brings certainly underlines our reputation for hosting the world’s best sporting events.”