Woods to make Abu Dhabi debut next year

London: Tiger Woods will make his debut in the Abu Dhabi Championship next year in what will be his only competitive appearance in the Middle East, tournament organisers said on Wednesday.

Woods has reshuffled his schedule to play at the $2.7-million event rather than his usual season-opener, the Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines.

Both tournaments are scheduled for Jan 26-29.

"I`ve heard a lot about Abu Dhabi and the Championship which is a favourite among many of the players who return each year," Woods said in a statement.

"I`m looking forward to 2012 and what I hope will be a great year of golf for me."

According to tournament organisers, Woods is not scheduled to play in any other tournament in the Middle East, which would mean he will miss the Dubai Desert Classic where he has played six times since 2001.

The American was fined at this year`s event after being filmed spitting several times.

"We are confident that record crowds will gather to see Tiger Woods make his Abu Dhabi debut in what will be his only competitive Middle East appearance of the year," Faisal Al Sheikh, events manager at the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, said.

Woods will be joined in Abu Dhabi by reigning major winners Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke as well as their British compatriot and current world number one Luke Donald.

Bureau Report

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