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Ian Poulter aiming to go one better in Abu Dhabi
January 12, 2011

Having narrowly missed out on victory in 2010, Ian Poulter has confirmed he will return to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January determined to finish one shot better.

The flamboyant Englishman from Hertfordshire, England has enjoyed his finest year in professional golf and will be looking to follow up a successful 2010 with even more silverware when he bids for Abu Dhabi's coveted Falcon trophy from January 20-23.

At the National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club this year, Poulter pushed eventual winner Martin Kaymer to the very last stroke, missing out when a 30-foot putt on the 18th went agonisingly close. It left Kaymer, who returns this year fresh from winning his first Major, the US PGA Championship, to enjoy victory in Abu Dhabi for the second time.

It wasn't all disappointment for Poulter as his second place moved him into the top 10 of the world golf rankings, where he remains today. Also in 2010, he won his first tournament on US soil, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, following this with his second title of the year at the UBS Hong Kong Open.

Poulter, famous on the circuit for his colourful  dress sense, teamed up with American Dustin Johnson to capture the Shark Shoot Out in Florida last week, shooting a final round 59 as a team in the scramble format to nip Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell by two shots. Whether as a team or individual, winning is becoming a habit for the 34-year-old.

Poulter enters an Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship field already filled with some of the biggest names in golf, including all four 2010 Major winners - Kaymer, Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell - the first time this has happened in the Middle East.

He will also compete against the current world number one, Lee Westwood, who is determined to lift the coveted Falcon Trophy for the first time, as well as two-time Championship winner Paul Casey.

"I played great last year and although I came pretty close, Martin was the deserved winner. If I hadn't thrown in a 70 in on the Friday I think I could have snuck past him, but knowing the National course suits my game certainly gives me confidence ahead of the 2011 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship." said Poulter.

"Everybody wants to win this Championship and coming so close in 2010 really spurs me on. The crowds were amazing last year and I hope I will give them something to cheer about when I tee off in January, as the atmosphere in Abu Dhabi is very special."

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship has developed a well-earned reputation among golfers for its hospitality to players and spectators. Fans are given plenty of opportunity to get up close with the players as they do battle at one of the European Tour's most prestigious events.

"The 2011 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is now recognised as a major international sporting event," said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager for Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), the championship organiser. "With so many of the world's top golfers lining up, spectators will get to see more of their heroes than ever before."

The Championship recently unveiled its new title sponsor, HSBC, the world's local bank, and announced an increased prize fund of US$2.7 million - US$500,000 (approximately £1.7 million - £320,000) up on 2010 - making it the richest championship on the Desert Swing stage of the European Tour.

"Attracting the world's best known players, such as Ian Poulter, is very important to us," said Giles Morgan, HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship. "The quality of field on display here mirrors the quality of the service at HSBC, and we anticipate some thrilling golf at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January."

ADTA has pledged a substantially expanded Championship Village with more attractions, restaurants, cafes and competitions, as it anticipates the Championship's highest ever attendance.

Abu Dhabi's golfing facilities have expanded significantly over the past year, with the emirate now boasting three, world-class, championship-ready facilities. The championship takes Abu Dhabi's name across the world to golfers who are able to book golfing holidays through the increasing number of international and local tour operators who are packaging the sport in the emirate.

Tickets are available via the event's official website, www.abudhabihsbcgolfchampionship.com , as well as online at www.timeouttickets.com and www.itptickets.com . Phone bookings can be made on +971 4 210 8943.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is backed by a high-profile sponsorship line-up that also includes Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, Emirates Palace hotel, Etisalat, TDIC, Airbus, Xerox, CNN, Gulf News and Rolex.

For further information on Abu Dhabi call 020 7201 6400, see www.visitabudhabi.ae , or e-mail uk@adta.ae








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