The world’s top two ranked players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, kick off their 2013 season this week at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The key numbers to know for this week’s event:
7 – Woods and McIlroy have been grouped together nine different times in official events around the world. Seven of those times, Woods has posted the better score. In fact, in those nine rounds, Tiger is a combined 38-under, while Rory is 24-under.
Neither may post the best score in their group the first two rounds, though. European Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer will play with Woods and McIlroy Thursday and Friday. Kaymer has won this event three times in the previous five years (2011, 2010 and 2008).
Trending UpwardRory McIlroy Career
at Abu Dhabi Championship
6 – Woods is entering his 17th full season as a professional. In his previous 16 season openers, he has six victories and 14 top-ten finishes. Twelve times, he has finished in the top-5, including last year at this event (tied for 3rd).
5 – Each of the last four years, McIlroy has teed it up in this event. He’s finished in the top five each time. In both 2011 and 2012, Rory finished second. The last time the world number one was in the United Arab Emirates, it was last November. McIlroy shot back-to-back 66’s on the weekend to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
47 – McIlroy has played 54 tournament rounds in the United Arab Emirates as a professional. In 47 of those rounds (87 percent), he has broken par. In his 14 starts there, he has ten top-five finishes and a pair of victories. McIlroy’s career scoring average in 20 rounds at this tournament is 68.45.