| Oosthuizen leads SA charge in Abu Dhabi

Cape Town – Louis Oosthuizen will lead the South African charge at the opening European Tour event of the year, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Oosthuizen joins 15 of his fellow countrymen this week in a star-studded field at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, which gets under way on Wednesday.

Oosthuizen, who is SA’s top-ranked golfer, will look to continue his form into the new year following his ninth European Tour win at the SA Open and his T7 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship last month.

The 36-year-old is currently fourth on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings and with 7 000 Race to Dubai points on offer, the South African will look to make an advance early on in the season-long rankings.

Oosthuizen will tee off in Round 1 on Wednesday alongside world No 3 Dustin Johnson and former Open champion Henrik Stenson at 05:30 SA time.

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World No 51 Branden Grace will be hoping to improve on his showing at last year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which saw the South African finish T15 – 10 shots behind defending champion Tommy Fleetwood.

Grace gets his opening round under way at 10:15 SA time with two-time Major champion Martin Kaymer, who could make history by winning his fourth title in Abu Dhabi.  

SA golfers Round 1 tee times (in CAT time):

*Hole 10

05:20 – Justin Walters, David Horsey, Liam Johnston 

*05:30 – Louis Oosthuizen, Dustin Johnson, Hendrik Stenson

05:50 – Erik van Rooyen, Scott Hend, Taipo Pulkkanen  

06:00 – Zander Lombard, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Pelle Edberg 

06:10 – Jaco van Zyl, Yusaku Miyazato, Maxmillian Kieffer

06:40 – Richard Sterne, Nino Bertasio, David Law

09:45 – Darren Fichardt, Andrew Johnston, Nicolas Colsaerts 

10:15 – Branden Grace, Martin Kaymer, Byeong Hun An

*10:35 – Trevor Immelman, Paul Waring, Mikko Korhonen

10:55 – George Coetzee, Adrian Otaegui, Andres Romero

*10:55 – Brandon Stone, Jorge Campillo, Edoardo Molinari 

11:05 – Dean Burmester, Jacques Kruyswijk, Peter Hanson

*11:05 – Haydn Porteous, Renato Paratore, Kristoffer Broberg

11:15 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Steven Brown, Sean Crocker

*11:25 – Thomas Aiken, Matthieu Pavon, Dominic Foos

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