The 2021 European Tour season gets under way this week with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. ANDRE HUISAMEN details everything you need to know for the year ahead.
Lee Westwood proved his resilience last season, claiming a third Race to Dubai victory, which pretty much all began with the Abu Dhabi event.
Given the unprecedented circumstances that were to derail world golf as we know it, Westwood and the rest of the European Tour contingent still put on a show for the rest of 2020 that gripped golf lovers deep into December.
The Englishman will lead a star-studded field into the first event of 2021 with the best of the best set to do battle in the UAE.
Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton and South Africa’s new golfing sensation, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, will be some of the key names to watch this week.
Major champions Danny Willet, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose will also add some spice to the field, in what promises to be an enthralling four days of golf.
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, though, will kickstart a run of events in the Middle East with Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Doha scheduled venues.
In between, the World Golf Championship will also be held at the end of February at its new venue in Florida. Covid-19 restrictions have forced organisers to move the event from Mexico as a result.
The Magical Kenya Open will be the first event on African soil for the year, making a welcome return after the competition was eventually cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
Back-to-back events in Spain will follow the Masters in April before George Coetzee’s title defence at the Portugal Masters takes place from 29 April to 2 May.
Exciting events across Denmark, Germany and Sweden will then keep the Tour going between the PGA Championship and US Open in May and June.
The 149th Open Championship will undoubtedly, though, be one of the highlights of the year after it missed out in 2020.
Excitement will hit the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent from 15-18 July in the final Major of the year.
The Volvo China Open and WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai are also back on the calendar for October and November, as is Africa’s Major, the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
The Gary Player Country Club will host one of the trademark South African events from 11-14 November. Other local events like the South African Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship are yet to be confirmed, though.
The DP World Tour Championship will once again conclude the Tour’s season in Dubai at the end of November.