18 JANUARY, 2023 - DP WORLD TOUR: Thomas Pieters will attempt to defend his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title this week and will be joined by Séamus Power, who makes his tournament debut at the opening Rolex Series event of the season.

The Belgian won his maiden Rolex Series title in Abu Dhabi last year, securing a one-stroke victory, and will be targeting back-to-back wins at the immaculate Yas Links on Yas Island, as the 2023 Rolex Series, the five premium events on the DP World Tour, gets under way in style.

Power, meanwhile, makes his tournament debut following his appearance in last week’s Hero Cup. The Irishman won his second PGA TOUR title at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in October last year and currently leads the FedExCup Standings.

There are 19 members from last week’s Hero Cup teams teeing it up at Yas Links this week, including 2021 winner Tyrrell Hatton, as well as Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald and his Vice Captains Thomas Bjørn, Nicolas Colsaerts and Edoardo Molinari.

This week marks the second time the event has been held on Yas Island, after 2022 heralded a new chapter for the tournament which highlights Abu Dhabi as an international sports hub with the season ending F1 Championship and Ultimate Fighting Championship also taking residency at the world-class venue.

The DP World Tour has further strengthened its commitment to environmental responsibility by announcing that all five of its Rolex Series tournaments in 2023 will be carbon neutral and will adopt a consistent and highly credible approach to carbon reduction and climate mitigation.


These five Rolex Series tournaments are the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Scottish Open, the BMW PGA Championship and the DP World Tour Championship.

The commitment is made as the 2023 Rolex Series tees off this week, at the start of an historic year in the United Arab Emirates which will be hosting COP28 from November 30 – December 12, shortly after the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Comprehensive emissions reduction plans are being implemented at each tournament, spanning venue operations and all key aspects of staging and resource consumption, including energy, transportation, materials, catering and infrastructure. Action plans are informed by the carbon emissions baselines produced for the events in 2022.

As part of the wider ‘legacy’ plans for each event, the DP World Tour will take responsibility for all unavoidable core and advanced emissions from all Rolex Series tournaments by contributing to Gold Standard-certified projects that support global efforts to limit global warming and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This will be complemented with investments in local ecosystem restoration and other low carbon, nature-based legacies with regional partners. The carbon credits and investments are aligned and measured with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to ensure additional social and ecological benefits.

Speaking about the initiative Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said: “Last year we set out our stall with the launch of the European Tour group’s updated sustainability strategy, while also becoming a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. Our focus now turns to credible, scaled and consistent implementation and it is fantastic to see the Rolex Series, the events that showcase the very best of the DP World Tour, leading the way. There is a lot more that we need to do to minimise direct impacts, but we are determined to build this out robustly and incrementally with our partners as we continue our pathway to net zero by 2040. We very much appreciate the support of our delivery partners at GEO Foundation and Gold Standard.”

Margaret Kim, CEO of Gold Standard, added: “I am pleased to see the sustainability efforts being implemented across the five Rolex Series tournaments. Golf has a strong bond with nature and the DP World Tour is aiding in the battle against the climate crisis and making sure that their support benefits communities most affected by climate change. By using Gold Standard certified credits to finance carbon reduction projects after implementing comprehensive emission reduction plans, they are taking responsibility for their environmental impact.”

The global projects being supported across the Rolex Series are based in Africa – ensuring they deliver on global climate justice principles, and direct financing to landscapes and communities most heavily impacted by climate change and ecosystem degradation. These are:
Hifadhi cookstoves in Kenya – This project will save more than 1 million tons of CO2 over 10 years, improving the livelihoods of local communities, improving health conditions by reducing the inhalation of toxic smoke, and reducing the degradation of the rainforest.
ADES solar stoves in Madagascar – This project supplies cookers which save up to 50% in charcoal or firewood consumption. They save vulnerable people money, reduce deforestation and reduce emissions.
Central Mozambique safe water programme (safe water supply) ­– This project provides safe drinking water sources to hundreds of households in rural areas of Mozambique, reducing the risk of water borne illnesses and the need to boil water for purification, which exposes households to hazardous air pollution. This saves thousands of tonnes of firewood per year and reduces CO2 emissions.
The portfolio of regional projects begins by supporting the mangrove restoration project in the Al Dhafra Region of the UAE.

This announcement builds on progress made in 2022 to reduce the carbon footprint of these events. Key initiatives included switching to biofuels for on-site power generation which reduced emissions by up to 94% compared to diesel alternatives, the roll-out of zero waste to landfill recycling processes, and the introduction of free water refill stations to reduce single use plastic consumption. Initiatives for 2023 will include a greater use of electric vehicles on site; greater proportion of public transport; greater use of solar power; more vegan and vegetarian food stalls; enhanced recycling of infrastructure and spectator materials, and further water efficiency. The scheduling of back-to-back events in the same region is also reducing emissions from player, organiser and supplier transport.
Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowry are both raring to go ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first Rolex Series event of the season, at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

The duo have both tasted success in this event, with Fleetwood winning back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 before Lowry followed suit by triumphing in 2019, and they arrive at Yas Links after both representing Great Britain and Ireland at last week’s inaugural Hero Cup.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is the season-opening event of the Rolex Series, which features five premium events on the DP World Tour in 2023, spread across four key points in the global golfing calendar, each event enhanced by a minimum US$9million prize fund.

Englishman Fleetwood would become only the second player in the event’s history to claim the title on three separate occasions with a victory this week, while Ireland’s Lowry is hunting his third Rolex Series title following his win in Abu Dhabi in 2019 and his memorable success at last year’s BMW PGA Championship.

The pair will be joined at Yas Links by their entire Great Britain and Ireland team from last week’s match play contest, including Ireland’s Séamus Power who will make his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship debut this week, as will Austria’s Sepp Straka following his appearance for Team Continental Europe at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Defending Champion Thomas Pieters will attempt to join Fleetwood as a back-to-back winner, while New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, a three-time DP World Tour winner, will make his first start of the calendar year following a stellar 2022 during which he won twice – at the Ras al Khaimah Classic and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – and finished second on the season-long Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex. 

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