Rory McIlroy insists he will be "100% ready" to take on world No 1 Jordan Spieth when they clash for the first time in 2016 in the $2.7 millio Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
With Rickie Fowler also lined up, three of the world's Top-5 will be there as well as Swede Henrik Stenson as they chase the richest purse on the European Tour’s ‘Desert Swing.’
Four-time Major winner and world No 3 McIlroy has his sights focused on winning his first Falcon Trophy, having clinched four runner up slots over the past eight years.
The Ulsterman believes starting his season against the world’s best at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 21 - 2 will be the driving force he needs to reclaim the world number one title in 2016.
“Abu Dhabi always brings an outstanding player field, and with Jordan and Rickie competing in January, this will a superb test for me to start off the 2016 season. I’ve come close in Abu Dhabi several times now, so I’ll be 100% ready for January’s challenge,” McIlroy said.
World No 1 Spieth, the Masters and US Open champion as well as they FedExCup champion, will be making his debut in the event.
Spieth said: “I am looking forward to coming to Abu Dhabi, especially after Rickie told me about what a fantastic event it is. I love to travel and see the world and I am excited to not only play in the event but also checking out Abu Dhabi for the first time.”
Fan favourite and world No 5 Fowler, 26, made his debut in Abu Dhabi last January and has his eyes set on the ‘Falcon Trophy’, believing a win will put him in good stead for a strong 2016 season.
“The past two years have been pivotal in my career,” said Fowler. “Getting three great Tour wins under my belt this year and coming so close in the four Majors in 2014 has given me confidence.
"I’m feeling more comfortable with my game than ever, and I’m looking forward to starting with a tough test against some of the big names in Abu Dhabi, which I hope will set me up nicely for the season ahead.”