World No 30 Russell Knox will be aiming to bank more of HSBC’s sponsorship money when he spearheads the Scottish challenge in next week’s European Tour event in Abu Dhabi.
The 30-year-old, who picked up €1.3m for winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai last November, is heading across from America to join seven of his compatriots in the $2.7 million HSBC Championship starting at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Thursday week.
It will be Knox’s second European Tour appearance since taking up European Tour membership for the first time so that he could be eligible for this September’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
He played in the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City in South Africa before Christmas and this latest trip, plus a commitment to play in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in July, will take him more than halfway towards the requirement of playing in five regular events on the circuit.
Knox finished 27th behind Jordan Spieth in the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions on Sunday and is staying on in Hawaii for this week’s Sony Open.
Definitely joining Knox for the first leg of the “Desert Swing” are Richie Ramsay, Marc Warren, Stephen Gallacher, David Drysdale, Craig Lee, Paul Lawrie and Scott Jamieson while Challenge Tour graduates Andrew McArthur and Jamie McLeary are currently 12th and 14th reserves respectively.
Lawrie will be aiming to get rid of some rust when he joins Drysdale, Lee and McLeary in this week’s Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, where the field is also set to include Scott Henry and Peter Whiteford and invitee Bradley Neil.