Photo by Matt Hazey

Following on from this year’s four-event extravaganza during the DP World Tour’s UAE Swing — from Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah — golf fans are in for an even bigger treat in 2023 as the finest players in Europe will arrive in Abu Dhabi in January for a Ryder Cup-style competition to kick-off the four-week golf feast.

The Hero Cup will take place over the National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 13-15, ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Dubai Desert Classic and Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

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Space was made on the DP World Tour calendar for the Hero Cup, so that Team Europe captain Luke Donald could get his Ryder Cup hopefuls competing in a team event ahead of the big one against the United States in Rome in September.

Donald will run the rule over the two teams — Great Britain & Ireland and Continental Europe — captained by Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari respectively. 

The two playing captains will select nine players early in January to make up the teams that will compete over one session each of foursomes, fourballs and singles matches, with all 20 players taking part in each session.

“I wanted to reinstate a team contest to give playing and leadership experience to Ryder Cup players,” Donald said.

Team selection will take into account performances on the DP World Tour Rankings, with the final decision resting with the captains, but you can be pretty much guaranteed to see the likes of Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Shane Lowry all teeing it up next month.