Abu Dhabi, Jan 20 (PTI) Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar will tee off in a star-studded field in their first start of the 2021 season at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Thursday.
The Indian pair landed here ahead of time to get accustomed to the place and get into the bio-bubble for the next three weeks.
The star studded field will see Rory McIlroy trying to get the new season off to a dream start by finally securing the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship trophy at his 11th appearance.
The four time Major champion will face stiff competition for the crown from the likes of Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Justin Thomas and Kevin Na, winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii last week.
Sharma, two-time winner on the European Tour in the 2018 season, and Bhullar a one-time winner though he has nine Asian Tour wins also, will be hoping for a good start to the new season at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and then in Dubai, where they have played often.
They will, however, have limited interaction outside their player bubble.
Bhullar will tee off with Fabrizio Zanotti and Mattheiu Pavon from first tee in morning at 7.50 am, while Sharma goes out with Adri Arnaus and Richard McEvoy from the 10th tee at 11.45 am.
This is Sharmas fourth start at Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and his best has been a none-too-great T-48th.
Yet, Sharma sounded confident on his preparations.
The game looks good. I've been practicing a lot since I've been home, I was home since December 8 and just got here on Saturday. The game is great, did a lot of preparation back home with Jesse sir and Gurbaaz, who has fitted all my clubs, he said.
"The game looks fine during our practice. And as usual. the course is in great shape so I am looking forward to the three weeks in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi, all big events. I'll try and do my and hopefully you will see my name on the leaderboard,he added with a laugh.
Bhullar will be playing at Abu Dhabi for the third time with his 2019 finish of T-27 being the best.