Number of players among the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking who will compete in next month’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the European Tour announced. Foremost among the world’s elite players will be Americans Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, ranked Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, in the world. Also, No. 12 Tommy Fleetwood of England and No. 25 Henrik Stenson of Sweden have committed. The Jan. 16-19 tournament at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates will be the first of the elite eight-event Rolex Series on the 2018-19 European Tour schedule. The Abu Dhabi stop will be the first of the tour’s three-event Desert Swing, which continues in Dubai and with an inaugural tournament in Saudi Arabia.
Number of players projected to be among the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking by the end of the year who weren’t otherwise qualified for the Masters but will earn spots at Augusta National based on their rankings, according to Golf Digest. The Masters invites all players in the top 50 of the OWGR at the end of the season. That means, according to the projections, that Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Eddie Pepperell, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Ian Poulter, Haotong Li, Thorbjorn Olesen, Matt Wallace, Lucas Bjerregaard, Emiliano Grillo and Branden Grace will be headed to Augusta, Ga., for the April 11-14 Masters.