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Rider Cup Challenge

January 21, 2016

The US duo of the world's number one golfer Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, the world's number 6, sent Europe a warning shot at the start of a "game-changing" year for golf, beating Europe's Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, the world's number 3 and 5, by the finest of margins to tee off the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

The four global golfing superstars went head-to-head in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 'Rider Cup', at the ocean-front Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, combining Texas scramble golf and revolutionary GolfBoards in a race to complete the hole first.

The USA team showcased their speed credentials to finish just seconds ahead of their European counterparts in what could be one of the quickest holes to be completed in years.

In a year which sees the return of golf to the Olympics for the first time in over 100 years and of course the Ryder Cup, every advantage counts.

With speed of play such a controversial issue in the sport, the introduction of GolfBoards could well be a way of addressing it. It took the players less than 2 minutes to complete the hole as they raced down the fairway under the Abu Dhabi sun, courtesy of the latest innovation to take the sport by storm. Co-created by surfing legend and extreme sport pioneer Laird Hamilton, GolfBoards have the potential to increase speed of play dramatically and are part of HSBC's efforts to innovate golf.

"Jordan nearly took me out!" Rory said adding "when HSBC get us together they always do something fun and it was actually quite competitive this year."

On the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Rory said:  "I don't think there's any better place to start the year than in Abu Dhabi with the weather, the field, the golf course that HSBC put together. It's a real competitive start to the year"

In response to Rory, Jordan joked "He's one very good player that I could have taken out of the field. Rory and I were going this way together and I bumped the back of his board. We had a good time. It wasn't deliberate."

On the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship Jordan described it as "one of the biggest events of the year [which] kick starts the world tour of 2016."

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