Returning to the capital for the seventh time, tennis legend and former British No.1 Tim Henman greeted visitors on day one of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
After a 15-year professional tennis career Henman, who plays off plus one handicap, dedicates his time to promoting an active lifestyle and inspiring the next generation of rising sports stars. Speaking about being back at the event, Henman said: “This is my seventh year at the Championship and I absolutely love it! It’s incredible because you have the best players in the world and such a brilliant course, but there are also so many other activities for people to experience, just like Topgolf Crush here behind us. ”
Henman surprised HSBC Future Falcon Programme member Oscar Murphy, as the two played Topgolf Crush in the bustling Village. And, if that wasn’t enough for Oscar, earlier today the aspiring 13-year-old golfer was one of the lucky young Future Falcons who got the chance to tee off with Rory McIlroy – Murphy’s very own hero – and World No.1, Dustin Johnson.
Henman was delighted to be back in the Village, a place he looks forward to visiting every year: “The Championship Village gets better and better every year,” he explained. “There are always new additions for the kids to come along to with their families and enjoy a real festival of golf, amongst other sports. If you are talking about getting the younger generation involved you have to ensure that the kids can come along and have a good time – to see the golf but to enjoy the whole experience.”
Currently in Year 8 at school in Abu Dhabi, Oscar, who plays off a handicap of six, said: “This has been by far the best day of my life! Not only did I get the tee shot inside the defending champion Tommy and World Number 1, Dustin Johnson, it was so cool to try and beat Tim Henman’s score at Topgolf Crush. I didn’t quite beat him, so I’ll keep trying to get more points in the next few days. My dad is so proud of me and thinks I have done a fantastic job!”
Tomorrow (Friday 19) the Championship will see the return of the ever-popular Ladies Day, with its highly contested annual Best Dressed Competition. Judged by Emirates Woman magazine, fashionistas will have the chance to win two return business class tickets and entrance to Milan Fashion Week, courtesy of Etihad Airways.
Those who arrive on Saturday will be granted free entry by simply wearing the Championship red. Fans, families and friends will enjoy sports activities, delicious food truck cuisine and competitions in the Championship Village, in between watching the likes of Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer compete against the World’s best.
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA and runs until Sunday 21 January 2018 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Oscar Murphy HSBC Future Falcon member