It was a tough weekend for some notable players at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The Abu Dhabi Country Club claimed some of the biggest names in golf, both in the World Rankings and those who have been making new as of late.
Let’s start with those who were unable to make the cut this weekend. The big names that were obviously mentioned more than any other were those of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. McIlroy had a rough two rounds with his new Nike clubs and Woods was unable to break even par in two days of golf.
It was also a bad weekend for both former and current European Ryder Cup captains. 2010 Captain Colin Montgomerie had finished at 76 and 74 through the first two rounds and missed the cut. 2012 Captain Jose Maria Olazabal shot 76 and 75, and newly named 2014 captain Paul Mcginley scored 76 and 73 as both players also missed the cut.
Darren Clarke, who was in the running for the 2014 European Captaincy and declined because he didn’t want to interrupt his game, shot a first round 79 and followed that with a second round 75, and was obviously sent home early.
As hard as it is to be sent packing early, Justin Rose may have had a more tortuous experience. Rose, the fifth ranked golfer in the world coming into the weekend, lost the lead in the final round and finished in a tie for second place behind winner Jamie Donaldson. Rose missed an eight foot birdie putt on the 18th green that would have given him a share of the lead and forced a playoff.
With the play at Abu Dhabi and the Humana Challenge this weekend, it appears we are in for one wild ride of a golf season.