RoryMcIlroy, last year’s double major winner, finished in third place overnight with 11under-par, after round two of the first golf tournament of the year, theAbu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.  He wasin tied fourth after round one, but has now dangerously climbed up the leaderboardto be only two shots off the lead.

TheNorthern Irishman is now putting pressure on 30-year old German Martin Kaymerand 22-year old Belgian Thomas Pieters, who are in the lead. Kaymer, the three-timewinner of the Abu Dhabi Championship in 2008, 2010 and 2011, leads the field with13 under-par, with Pieters only one shot behind.

Thetournament, that is always played in January, is renowned as one of the biggest golfevents on the European Tour and is regularly attended by the golfing elite.

Apartfrom the four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy, number one in the world, and the three-time Abu Dhabi Champion MartinKaymer, who is currently ranked 12thin the world, this year’s list of big names also includes Henrik Stenson,ranked number two in the world, Justin Rose, world number five and American RickieFowler, ranked world number 10.

We will needto wait till Sunday, 18th January, to see who will lift thesought-after Falcon Trophy, made to match the symbol of the United ArabEmirates!

TheAbu Dhabi event, established and played since 2006, is also very popular withgolf supporters and is always a magnet for lots of people who are fascinated by the beautifulsetting of the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, which runs through rolling terrain with palmtrees and spectacular saltwater lakes.

The club was designed to replicate an oasis inthe desert and no money was spared to achieve just that. The club isdefinitely one of the most magnificent and luxurious golfresorts in the world and is certainly the place to be during the January glooms.

TheChampionship is helping to boost not only the sporting profile of Abu Dhabi butalso its tourism and place the city on a list of preferred international traveldestinations.