Sun Sentinel
European Golf Tour
PGA European - Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, January 21st through Sunday, January 24th
SITE: Abu Dhabi Golf Club (National Course), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
COURSE ARCHITECT: Peter Harradine (1998)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,510
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 405 Yds10 - Par 5 554 Yds
2 - Par 5 600 Yds11 - Par 4 417 Yds
3 - Par 4 439 Yds12 - Par 3 186 Yds
4 - Par 3 174 Yds13 - Par 4 414 Yds
5 - Par 4 469 Yds14 - Par 4 478 Yds
6 - Par 4 454 Yds15 - Par 3 177 Yds
7 - Par 3 200 Yds16 - Par 4 475 Yds
8 - Par 5 572 Yds17 - Par 4 483 Yds
9 - Par 4 456 Yds18 - Par 5 557 Yds
36 3,769 Yds36 3,741 Yds
Annual:  5th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 8:30 a.m.-12:30 pm (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Paul Casey
Runner-Up:  Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer
Tournament Record:  267 (Paul Casey, 2009)
54-Hole Record:  197 (Paul Casey, 2009)
36-Hole Record:  131 (Martin Kaymer, 2008)
Course Record:  62 (Henrik Stenson, 2006)
Total Purse:  $2,140,423 (1,500,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $356,737; 2nd Place - $237,815; 3rd Place - $133,990
2009 Finish
Paul Casey267Johan Edfors271
Louis Oosthuizen268Rory McIlroy271
Martin Kaymer268Sergio Garcia272
Anthony Wall270Danny Willett272
Padraig Harrington271Three players at273
Past Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Paul Casey (267) -- Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer
2008Martin Kaymer (273) -- Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood
2007Paul Casey (271) -- Peter Hanson, Miguel Angel Jimenez
2006Chris DiMarco (268) -- Henrik Stenson

Top Contenders in the Field
Paul CaseyT-45WonmcWon
Martin Kaymer---mcWonT-2
Louis Oosthuizen------T-65T-2
Anthony WallT-45T-29T-174th
Rory McIlroy------T-11T-5
Johan Edfors---mcT-43T-5
Sergio Garcia3rdT-14---T-8
Danny Willett---------T-8
Francesco MolinariT-38T-66T-39T-10
Peter HansonT-61T-2T-43T-10
Bradley Dredge---------T-10
Phillip ArchermcT-11T-30T-13
Thongchai JaideeT-12T-14T-34T-13
Soren HansenT-50T-50T-34T-15
Anders HansenT-30------T-15
Richard GreenT-20T-29T-17T-26
Jeev Milkha Singh------mcT-26
Robert-Jan DerksenmcT-9mcT-32
Colin MontgomerieT-6T-14T-23T-37
Oliver WilsonT-35T-41mcT-37
Ignacio GarridoT-20mcT-4T-50
Andrew McLardyT-12T-20T-23T-50
Nick DoughertyT-45T-11T-5070th
Henrik Stenson2nd8thT-2mc
Miguel A. Jimenez5thT-2T-43mc
Lee Westwood------T-2---
Ian PoulterT-10---T-9---
Robert KarlssonT-30T-14T-11---
Darren Clarke------T-61---
Keith HorneT-20---------
Anthony Kim------------
Geoff Ogilvy------------
Camilo Villegas------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Rory McIlroy
Darkhorse - Anthony Kim
Last Week's Pick to Win (Anders Hansen) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Chris Swanepoel) - Missed the cut
The European Tour travels to the United Arab Emirates this week for the fifth year of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, which boasts an outstanding field. Eight of the top-14 players in the world are scheduled to compete, led by world No. 4 and 2009 Race to Dubai champion Lee Westwood, who is playing for the first time in 2010. Other top-ranked players teeing it up are 2009 PLAYERS Champion Henrik Stenson (7), defending champion Paul Casey (8), winner of the SBS Championship two weeks ago on the PGA Tour Geoff Ogilvy (9), 20-year-old sensation Rory McIlroy (10), Ian Poulter (12), Sergio Garcia (13) and Martin Kaymer (14). American Anthony Kim is also playing at this event for the first time.

Last year, Casey led by as many as six strokes in the final round, but closed with four straight pars to hold off Louis Oosthuizen and Kaymer for a one-stroke win at this event. Casey closed with a two-under 70 after rounds of 69-65-63 to finish his ninth European Tour win at 21-under-par 267. The Englishman established a new 72-hole scoring record with his total of 267. The old mark of 268 was set by Chris DiMarco in 2006. He had also set a new 54- hole record with his three-round total of 197. Casey claimed his 10th European Tour title later in the year at the BMW PGA Championship. He also won his first PGA Tour event at the Houston Open.

Early on in the final round, it looked as though Casey would run away with his second title at this event, having previously won in 2007. He opened with a birdie on the first and followed with his third birdie in three days at the second. He parred the next three before converting a birdie effort on the sixth at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to push his lead to six strokes. Casey birdied the par-five eighth for the fourth straight day to remain six up on Kaymer, who also birdied No. 8. Around the turn, Casey maintained his six-stroke lead with a birdie on the 10th. However, things started to fall apart from there. Casey tripped to a bogey on the 11th. That was his first bogey since his final hole, No. 9, during the second round. He then stumbled to bogeys at 13 and 14 as his lead over Oosthuizen dropped to two strokes. Oosthuizen birdied two and three, then converted three straight birdie chances from the eighth to jump to 17-under. The South African sank birdie tries at 12 and 15 to get to 19-under, where he stood two shots off Casey. Oosthuizen birdied the last to finish at 20-under. After three bogeys in four holes, Casey steadied himself and closed with four straight pars to hold off Oosthuizen's rally.

In 2008, despite a two-over 74 in the final round, Kaymer walked away with his first European Tour title at this event. Kaymer established a new 36-hole record at 131. He became the youngest German winner in European Tour history at 23 years and 24 days old. Bernhard Langer previously was the youngest German to win at 23 years and 38 days old when he won the 1980 Dunlop Masters.

In 2007, Casey's only bogey in the final round came at the 18th hole, but it didn't keep him from winning. Casey closed with a seven-under 65 in the final round, his best score of the week, and beat Miguel Angel Jimenez and Peter Hanson by one shot. Casey finished at 17-under-par 271.

In 2006, American DiMarco shot 63-67 over the final two rounds with his wife, Amy, as his caddy to win the tournament. DiMarco finished the event at 20-under-par 268 for his first win on the European Tour. It was the first European Tour event DiMarco played outside the four major championships and the World Golf Championship events. It was also his first win anywhere since the 2002 Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour. DiMarco has not won a tournament since winning here in 2006.

The lone ace in tournament history came in 2006, when Darren Fichardt made a hole-in-one on No. 4 during round two.

This is the first of a three-week stay in the Gulf for the European Tour, followed by the Commercialbank Qatar Masters and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Alvaro Quiros won the title last year in Qatar.

01/19 13:52:53 ET

As of January 19, 2010, at 01:53 PM ET