Donaldson ready for Abu Dhabi defence

Jamie DonaldsonJamie Donaldson will be looking to keep up his stellar form when he opens the defence of his HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship title on Thursday (Donaldson 20/1 Tournament Outright).

The 38-year-old is enjoying an Indian summer in his career and has picked up two wins on the European Tour in the past two years after turning professional back in 2000.

The Welshman broke his duck in the 2012 Irish Open before landing the spoils in the UAE 12 months ago in a field containing the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

He failed to build on that victory in the first half of 2013 but then upped his level to secure six top-10 finishes, which included four straight top-10s in his final events of the year.

The Pontypridd-born ace kicked off his 2014 season with a 13th place finish at last week’s Volvo Golf Champions and is now relishing the chance of returning to a venue that was good to him last year.

“It was a great win last year,” Donaldson told the European Tour website. “Going back anywhere that you’ve played and won before is really good.”

Donaldson will face some serious competition this time around, with a resurgent McIlroy (11/2 Tournament Outright) heading the field and Open champion Phil Mickelson  making a rare appearance on the European Tour.

A number of the victorious European Ryder Cup stars are also on view at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, with Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald all set for an outing.

Henrik Stenson (8/1 Tournament Outright) is the man of the moment, however, after his amazing feats in 2013, and the Swede will be looking to kick off his year with another solid outing.

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